Chief Madzimawe in Chipata district has urged chiefs in Eastern province to engage their subjects on matters that will help end maternal deaths in their chiefdoms.
Speaking during the first ever 2019 Maternal and Child Health chiefs Indaba held in Lundazi yesterday, the traditional leader says chiefs play a key role in ending maternal deaths, teenage pregnancies and early marriages because they have command over their subjects.
He said traditional leaders must formulate some by-laws in their chiefdoms that will help to end the vices that contribute to the rise in maternal deaths in Lundazi, Chasefu and Lumezi districts.
Chief Madzimawe explained that it is important for traditional leaders to impose sanctions on their subjects that contravene the bye- laws to deter would be offenders thereby reducing maternal deaths.
The traditional leader has since implored his fellow chiefs to start doing something for their chiefdoms’ before their subjects render them irrelevant.
And speaking earlier, Lundazi District Commissioner (DC), Janet Palukani called for concerted efforts from the traditional leaders in the fight against maternal deaths.
Mrs. Palukani noted with great concern that lack of leadership will led to the increase in maternal deaths in Lundazi, Chasefu and Lumezi districts.
Meanwhile, Lundazi District Health Director Dr. Davy Zulu said according to statistics, Lundazi district has in the past three years recorded an average of 21.3 maternal deaths, adding that in 2016, 2017 and 2018 the district recorded 21, 27 and 16 maternal deaths respectively.
Dr. Zulu disclosed that the three districts have positioned themselves to achieving single digit to near zero maternal deaths.
The next chiefs Indaba has been slated for July 2019 to review progress made in the 11 chiefdoms on the agreed action points.