Mchinji District Set to Reduce Neonatal Mortality through the Amref-led IMPALA Project

by Amref Health Africa

Amref Health Africa in Malawi, in partnership with the German Corporation for International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit – GIZ Malawi) and with financial support from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has launched an Innovative Monitoring system for Paediatrics in Low Resource settings – an Aid to save lives (IMPALA) project in Mchinji district, central region of Malawi.

The project aims to reduce the neonatal mortality rate by improving emergency and critical care services for neonates at Mchinji District and Kapiri Community Hospitals. This will be done by improving patient monitoring equipment availability and functioning for essential emergency and critical care services for neonates.

The project also aims to strengthen the capacity of both skilled and unskilled facility-based health workers through training, mentorship and supervision on using patient monitors for efficient and effective management of neonates. Furthermore, the project will aid in documenting and disseminating results and experiences to facilitate rapid scale-up of the patient monitoring system.

Through the IMPALA project, Amref Health Africa Malawi will install 23 portable patient monitors that will detect heart rate, respiration rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure and temperature, putting health workers in control while saving the lives of neonates. To enhance functionality, the monitors will have more than six hours of battery life in case of blackouts. Furthermore, a central patient overview will be installed to enable monitoring of multiple neonates right at the nurse’s desk.

Speaking at a welcome and inception meeting, the Acting Director of Health and Social Services in Mchinji District Council, Dr. Yohane Mwale stated that the project will benefit everyone in the community by seeing shorter stay of patients in the hospital and enhance the trust of the community in the hospital.

“On our part, this will be beneficial in preventing more deaths, because immediately when something goes wrong, an action will actually be taken — thank you for bringing this project, it is welcome in Mchinji”, says Dr. Mwale.

In picture – Dr. Yohane Mwale, Acting Director of Health and Social Services, Mchinji District Council, Malawi

The project’s first phase will run from January to June 2024 and is estimated to reach 3,644 beneficiaries in Mchinji District.

Written by Chisha Chola, Communications Officer – Amref Health Africa Malawi

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