He didn’t know he was a miracle. He had no idea about high-risk pregnancies or hospitals. All the minutes-old boy saw through squinty brown eyes was his mother and her smile. She knew; he didn’t have to, and he could rest contentedly in the safety of his mother’s arms.
Thirty-one year-old Chisomo had lost children to stillbirth and miscarriage. Her experiences held back her hope for a healthy baby. Chisomo walked one hour to one of the rural Health Centers, but due to her history and risk she was brought by ambulance to Nkhoma Hospital. There her chances for a healthy delivery were raised. Arriving in time to delivery a healthy baby boy was a delightful conclusion to her journey.
Chisomo is one of many patients who benefit from a Malawi government Service Level Agreement which provides health care for eligible maternity cases and babies to age five. Inflation combined with an unchanging cap on government payouts has left Nkhoma Hospital receiving only a third of the amount that they received when it was started in 2011. Nkhoma Hospital in need of more partners to bridge the financial gap.
MBF is one such partner, committed to helping Nkhoma Hospital make a life and death difference for mothers like Chisomo. Chisomo and her husband grow enough maize to feed their young family. If they had to pay delivery costs for this new little son, they would have sold some of the maize along with groundnuts and soya. Maybe they could have covered the bill, but hunger would have been the price.