In Malawi, maternal mortality rate is one of the highest in the world with 634 per 100 000 live births (Worldbank 2011-2015), i.e. every 160th woman dies due to pregnancy-related causes. Joyful Motherhood‘s Mother Care Programme identifies critically ill post-partum women, with referrals mostly from Lilongwe’s Bwaila Hospital and Kamuzu Central Hospital.
Reasons for being taken into the Mother Care Programme can be:
These women are paired with a Joyful Motherhood nurse who visits them in their home communities and provides support, discharging them from the programme only once they have regained their health and their situation has stabilized. Total number of visits is based on a needs assessment, but in general women receive up to six visits.
Each visit by a Joyful Motherhood nurse involves a physical assessment of the convalescing woman (e.g. blood pressure, temperature, anaemia, medication adherence), assessment of the home environment (e.g. mosquito net use, food stability), and assessment of her ability to care for her newborn (e.g. breast milk production, growth and well-being of the newborn). Nurses provide supplemental food packages – consisting of items such as soya, groundnuts, and beans – to women living in homes with food instability. If the mother needs to be referred to a hospital, Joyful Motherhood nurses try to accompany her and serve as advocate during the care and treatment for the whole period of the hospitalization.