By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver
Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with one in 36 pregnant women dying from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Many of these women die from hemorrhage, one of the leading causes of maternal death worldwide. An increase in blood supply, especially at rural health clinics, has the potential to save the life of a mother experiencing hemorrhaging. In an innovative push to save lives, the Silver Strikers Football Club partnered with MamaYe Malawi and Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) earlier this month to organize a football match and blood drive to raise awareness and to collect 59 units of blood for health clinics.
The football match featured Silver Striker team members against retired players from several nearby teams. In an interview with MamaYe, Silver Strikers chairperson McDonald Mwale said:
“When we were approached by MamaYe to play a role in safe motherhood, we saw it as an opportunity to give back to our supporters. We are a big team and have lots of supporters and we asked everyone that could come to be part of this life saving event.
“This is just the beginning for us and we hope to work with the MamaYe Campaign in the near future on similar life-saving events. We hope that the next one will be bigger.”
MamaYe is a campaign to improve maternal health in Africa, initiated by Evidence for Action and funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). “Maternal and newborn health is no longer just a health sector issue,” said MamaYe’s National Coordinator for Malawi, Charles Makwenda. “If we are to save our mothers, then everyone must take a part and donating blood is one of those small acts.”
Photo via MamaYe Malawi