Friday, November 30, 2012

'Norway feels responsible for climate change effects hitting Malawi'

The Royal Norwegian government says it feels responsible for the climate change that is affecting smallholder farmers in the country and has vowed to continue supporting efforts that mitigate the harsh effects climate change.

The remarks were uttered by Norway's Minister of International Development, Heikki Holmås ·at Khombeza in Salima where he signed for K6.5 billion grant from his government to National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (Nasfam).

The grant is important because we feel responsible for the climate change that is happening and it's important because it gives higher yields to farmers for less labour.

M'baya exchanges documents with Holmas at the signing ceremony in Salima
The grant aims at changing the way farming is done; making certain that you are protecting the soil, making certain that you get more nitrogen into the soil so you can use less fertilisation because its costly and to ensure better resilience in cases of drought, said Holmås.

He however said the grant is not a payout for Norway to continue pollution; he said Norway will continue to reduce its pollution and urged African governments to confront Western governments to reduce their pollution.

We have developed a strategy to reduce our carbon emission but at the same time we are obliged to support the countries that are feeling the strongest effects of climate change that is why we are in Malawi and that is why we are backing small holder farmers that are working together, said Holmås.

He said Norway is supporting many sectors but said it is the smallholders that are feeling the effects of climate change the most making Norway double its investment in their climate robust farming efforts.

Nasfam Board Chair, Jackson M'baya hailed the Norwegian grant and promised to use the moneys as agreed in the MOU.

As farmers, we understand the valuable role that development partners like the Government of Norway have in turning around our situations. We value the support towards home-grown legume seed multiplication and production, irrigation and winter cropping, said M'baya.

As of 2006 Africa only contributed 3.6 percent of the global carbon emission, Europe and North America are the major polluters and Holmås actually said one Norwegian emits about a 100 times more carbon than a Malawian.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Malawi should own the war on HIV or...

As part of World Aids Day coming up on 1st December, here is an issue Malawi should sit and listen to.

Emily Banda [not real name] is about 55. A grandmother of six, she had three children who are now dead, leaving her with the burden of looking after the grandchildren.
 Her skin is close to her bones and her eyes beam from deep inside her skull. It is a familiar story—Banda is HIV positive.

Gogo Banda flanked by her two friends - Whats their future?  

“I loved my deceased daughter so much that I cared less about her ailment and in the process of taking care of her during her sickness, I contracted the virus,” said Banda.
She discovered her condition after illness would not leave her a few months after burying her daughter. She is now three months on anti-retro-viral therapy (ART). She is not fully used to the drugs and she is feeling the effects of the powerful medicines.
Banda sits in a hut in Lilongwe’s Area 21 flanked by three other women who also carry the HIV virus. The reason their faces brighten up is that the life-prolonging medicines give them hope that they will see another day at least.
That could all change after 2014.
A crucial donor who buys most of the anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) for Malawi will no longer do so after 2014 and unless Malawi identifies another donor or buys the ARVs herself, HIV and Aids will ravage people such as Banda and take an enormous toll on the impoverished nation.
The revelation has been discussed in a resource mapping document prepared by the Ministry of Health and Clinton Health Access Initiative titled HIV Funding in Malawi: Key Findings from Resource Mapping, published on 18 September this year.
“55 percent of HIV funding in Malawi is at risk with the Global Fund grant ending in 2014,” warns the document.
The report says although the current grant will end in 2014, Malawi will have access to two years of funding that will maintain drug purchases for all existing patients which will allow for continued treatment, but with limited chances of being increased.
Banda and the other women that I assembled in Area 21 are worried by the spectre of a potential scaledown in the distribution of ARVs.
“ARVs gave us hope; we are now able to do manual labour to take care of our families because ARVs give us strength. Cessation of HIV funding would be killing the Malawi nation because we are not alone, there are many of us,” said one woman who does laundry in people’s houses for a living.
Another woman pointed to her pregnancy, saying despite having HIV, she can afford to bear a child because of the drugs.
“Recall the deaths that used to be there in the late 90s. ARVs give us a reprieve. If they stop giving people ARVs, the number of orphans will rise sharply. Imagine, we are already unhealthy with ARVs; how will life be without them?” she said.
The woman added that without drugs, stigma will come back as it will be easy to identify those with HIV.
Martha Kwataine, executive director of the Malawi Health Equity Network, says it is time Malawi put ARV purchases in the budget.
Kwataine - lets act with speed
“The government must start with the forthcoming 2013/14 national budget to allocate resources for ART. That will be a way of weaning ourselves from donors. If we can start by allocating say K5 billion in the 2013/14 budget, that would go a long way than leaving the whole game to donors who sometimes impose unrealistic conditionalities to their aid.
“It’s high time Malawi began to show its commitment to allocating resources for ART,” said Kwataine.
Board chairperson of the National Aids Commission (NAC) Mara Kumbweza-Banda played down the gravity of the situation, saying Global Fund is not the only partner supporting Malawi in HIV interventions.
“Even if Global Fund withdrew today, we will be able to manage. We have other strong partners such as the United States Government, CDC and others,” said Kumbweza-Banda.
Kumbweza-Banda - Not worried
However, she acknowledged the need for Malawi to avoid relying too much on donors. Kumbweza-Banda said a resource mobilisation strategy is being drafted to that effect, but could not divulge details, saying the information will only be available when the strategy is ready.
She said independence cannot come overnight, arguing that Malawi is making strides in the fight against HIV and Aids.
Out of the $354 million (about K114 billion) that was channelled to fight all diseases in the 2012/13 financial year, 60 percent went to HIV. That is a staggering $212 million (about K70 billion).
The $212 million, which comprises money from the Global Fund, Health Resources and Services Administration, and UNAIDS, among others, will shrink to $117 million next year, $84 million in 2014-15 and remain the same $84 million in 2015-16 following the decreases in funding from Global Fund and others.
According to CHAI (, the average cost of treating an HIV patient for one year in Malawi is $200 (K64 000).

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Malawian Human Rights Activists Against Sexual Minority Rights, Imagine

Now you are about to read something I think is only unique to Malawi...i got this in an email from Billy Mayaya a very respectable and intelligent human rights activist in Malawi...the email comes in the wake of an alleged declaration by the country's justice minister and attorney general that there is a moratorioum on all anti-gay laws, such that its now almost not a crime to be gay in Malawi...

Here is the email intoto:

"We, the Concerned Citizens of Malawi, would like to express our concern over the government’s stifling of debate over the issue of Homosexuality in this country. We particularly cite the government’s recent unilateral decision to suspend anti-gay laws. We question this selective application of the law for the following reasons:

There are other laws such as that pertaining to the Death Penalty which still remain in force and yet have not been selected for suspension. We seriously question the Government’s reason for this selective bias.

There is no global consensus on the issue. In democracies like the United States, certain states such as Texas retain the Death Penalty and the Republican Party espouse traditional values as a matter of principle and oppose same sex unions. Yet, the Government of Malawi is taking a dogmatic approach and moving towards concluding on the matter without the participation of the general public.

We are aware that the subject of same sex relationships is contentious and Malawi should not be made the exception. There appears to be an invisible hand influencing the position of government on the matter Malawians are being stifled from engaging in debate on the matter As citizens of this country exercising their right to religious belief, we believe that Homosexuality runs counter to God's created order for the family, and that major religious texts contain no affirmation of homosexual activity.

We believe that homosexual conduct is out of harmony with God's purpose for human beings; and that it is in violation of religious and social norms and are aberrant and deviant behavior. In view of the above, we the Concerned Citizens of Malawi demand the following:

The Government of Malawi to immediately lift the suspension on Gay Law and encourage debate on the issue

The Government of Malawi desist from making unilateral decisions without the consent of the citizens in Malawi. Members of Parliament engage with their constituents before debating the issue in the National Assembly.

That the issue goes to a Referendum as a way of engaging the citizens of this country in this debate We the Concerned Citizens append our signatures to this petition in support of these demands:"

I agree with the authors on a few points...government should follow procedure, should respect law and there really needs to be debate on the issue...

What I dont agree with is the morality of the authors...are they human right defenders or clergy? What human rights are they defending if they disown gays? so somw human rights are not human rights?

If the minister did declare the moratorium, there are a few things that are worth far in Malawi 6 in every ten people say homosexuality should remain a crime. If taken to parliament, the MPs would even go on to pass the death penalty against see, the issue is just like racism in the 1940 America...if issues of black rights were put to a vote, we would still have Jim Crow laws in cannot put issues of minoroty rights to a ballot, the majority will crush the minority by effectively denying them their rights.

That is where an executive order comes in, Malawians do not knkw that gays are folks like everyone else, some evene think they do not exist in society...but science and society are constantly showing that gays are actually born gays and nothing can change where are those people going to live?

These 'human right defenders' should know that, actually if they are versed in human rights theory, it should be in one of their 101 subjects...

I am on mobile so I cannot write much but am just wondering as to who will defend the people if the human rights defenders side with the oppressive system?

If human rights defenders quote the Bible as their guide, can they possibly protect the Muslim interests? do human rights not come first before denomination? I think I really am in Malawi...

Undule Mwakasungula, one of the Human Rights Defenders is obviously shocked and not party to the above is his Facebook status thread of ten hours ago...and check Reverend MacDonald Sembereka's comments...

Undule Mwakasungula wrote

I will never , never be part of any religion which promotes hate,hatred ,anger ,discrimination , homophobia , stigma ,gossips ,lies , misinformation !

MacDonald Sembereka commented

If the God others believe in is such homophobic them mine is different because mine is neither he or she,doesnt favour people because of sex or colour, is not as mean as we are,not selfish as we are, slow to anger and full of loving kindness. I beg to differ with those who assume the place of God and become judgmental of others when they are thieves, liers, adulterers and full of slanders and hide in the all mercifulness of God.
9 hours ago · Like · 1

Davie Maliro added

I heard one religious leader saying those that are of the same sex orientation are abnormal and they are not welcome into our sociaty, now my question is why do we welcome those that are physically challenged into our sociaty?, did our good God Jesus discriminate the physically challenged?.
8 hours ago · Like

Graciano Bwana-Lee Bwanali charged at Undule and Sembereka

Go straight to the point.. you are against religions that are against same sex marriages. But one day, someone wil have to answer. And all the benefits for the advocating of the same will be nowhere. MÜSAWUMITSÉ MTIMA, ZA PA DZIKO NDIZOKUTHA.
7 hours ago · Like · 1

Chimwemwe Mutambo mocked Sembereka

Koma Abusa lero mukapemphelesa kuti?
3 hours ago · Like

Lucky Crown Mbewe played sober

Abusa ambiri do not understand religion and so resolt into judging others. God is God of love regardless of whatever situations we are in so those who promote hate, homophobia, anger, evil and gossip will not not see God some day. Amen
2 hours ago · Like

Undule Mwakasungula chipped in

The Jesus Christ i know is of love ,care ,forgiveness ,support, Jesus who believes in hardworking , who creates heavenly on earth and no to wait for heaven after death ! The Jesus christ who co exists even of we are different in our thinking , orientation, colours, language etc. That's the Jesus Christ I will always follow !!!
2 hours ago · Like

Undule Mwakasungula

Graciano that's the misinformation we are talking about ???! Get the facts and help the nation !
2 hours ago · Like

Bright Mhango, thats me!

Just got a petition from your ranks and files of the cso bashing government for the 'moratorium'
2 hours ago · Like · Edit

Undule Mwakasungula replied

Bright ! Yes that's the debate we need to engage on but based on facts if they have any. ! Letd continue to facilitate that dialogue but a sober one with no emotions !
1 hour ago · Like

Bright Mhango, I argued on

Never seen human rights defenders chosing which rights to fight for...its as if we have our own Malawian version of doing things...
1 hour ago · Like · 1 · Edit

Undule Mwakasungula expounded

You can say that again Bright ! It's a shame ! As human rights defenders we want our rights to be protected and then we say rights of minorities should not be protected ? misplaced human rights defenders and it's so unfortunate indeed !
1 hour ago · Like

Undule Mwakasungula again

How can we be in the fore front to promote discrimination, stigma ,hate ,homophobia against vulnerable groups and yet we say we are HRDs ? How can HRDs be selective in which rights to protect ? We are really misplaced !
1 hour ago · Like

Interesting, huh?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Malawian slum conditions need attention or...

Rose Robert is only 20 but she already has sired three children, she is unqualified ad relies on a husband that sells chicken parts. She sits home all day waiting on her husband’s return. 

She sits in a mass of flies and right next to her toilet and her dump site. Her bathroom is a shack of strewn paper only just cordoning off would-be onlookers. The water that flows from the bath-shack is channelled into a pit that she doubles as a refuse pit.

The water plus the refuse join forces to produce sewage-like stench. It however does not bother her; she sits comfortably with her friend eating away from plastic plates placed on the dusty ground. The said ground in covered in feathers; feathers from the chicken her husbands slays.
Bin, Bathroom, Toilet, Playground - All in one place for Robert and neighbors

Her friend and neighbour, clasps a naked baby drapped in traditional bangles. She is herself is naked from waist up revealing her plus sized breasts. As she turns to pick up things, her breasts bang about in the October heat.

Robert’s house is about seven by five metres, it only has one bedroom. Electricity is out of the question, after all it is in Mtandire, one of the biggest slum ares in Lilongwe falling along the ranks of some areas of Kachere, Ndirande and Mbayani in Blntyre and Salisbury in Mzuzu.

To get to Robert’s house one has to negotiate tricky mazes, passages sandwiched by concrete and straw walls. Passages passing between drinking dens, toilets, in some cases one has to sift through clothes on drying lines and jump over water flowing from bathrooms.

It is like the Brazilian favelas, Mexican barrios and the Zinc ridden ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica. Many new comers to Lilongwe are told that areas like Mtandire house the city’s hardcore criminals and that the residents are violent by nature.

“It’s hard living here, the children sleep on the sitting room and we cannot afford visitors because we have no room. Water is hard to come by here, like in the last four days it hasn’t been flowing so we have been going to Area 47 to look for it,” said Robert.

Robert said the water question sometimes makes them wake up at three in the morning, just to fetch for it.
Her rubbish pit only has the fair garbage: feathers paper bags and some vegetable stems. The rest of the refuse is stacked in a sack and later thrown into Lingadzi River since no refuse collection services exist anywhere near Mtandire. 
Robert (Left) with her neighbour

The children of Mtandire happily play in the dust; innocently mingle with the red-eyed elders who have a thing for every drink achoholic. Many pubs in Mtandire are extensions of houses and thus a sizeable amount of  children are growing up with beer.

Their pals just a 20 minute walk away in Area 47 cannot find dust to play with even if they looked for it. All they have is tarred roads, sofas and Play Stations to play with. Their water system rarely dries up and garbage collectors from the City Council know the neighbourhood like their wives. 

The houses are bigger in 47 and the people in it richer. At the far end of Area 47 there are high walls obviously to keep out Mtandire residents, ,there are no through roads and the wall is almost standard like they agreed and as if they read about the Israeli wall that keeps out Palestinians.

Secretary of the Informal Settlement Network, Tony Golliati said living in the slums in this age is like living in Nyasaland, the pre-Independence Malawi.

“We have no water, no proper housing, when the rains fall it’s a mud puddle here and you can see how thin the byways are, when there is a funeral its hell to move a coffin out of this place, we wish we lived better lives. We hear government allocates money to people like us but we never see such money,” said Golliati.

He said there are about 18,000 people in Mtandire but with only one primary school, no secondary school a setup he feared is desinged to keep the poor forever poor.

Nation Publications Limited Chief Executive Officer, Mbumba Achuthan, who also attended the meeting and toured the slums could not hide her shock at the therein.

“Its amazing how just a road can divide people. The conditions here are appaling, no sewer system and I understand just across the river there is a bush but because rich people are building houses there, there will soon be electricity, water and good road networks,” said Achuthan.

As a media person, Achuthan said media should play an affective interactive role in the fight for slum dwellers.

“We need to take an interactive angle, where we take issues from the ground to the people who can tackle them and from people who can tackle them to the grassroots…also projects where we are not just reporting on what we see but also include the people’s voice into our products on radio and things like that,” she said.

Centre for Community Organisation and Development (CCODE) Executive Director Siku Phiri said unless Malawi starts adressing the issue now the future looks scary. She bemoaned the lack of funding and planning to check slums from spiraling out of control.

“Look at a town like Kasungu, it gets two million Kwacha from government what can a town with 50 thousand people do with two million?...but there is hope, we are not yet at the level of other countries like Kenya’s Kibera slums or South Africa.

Siku Nkhoma: We better plan
“We still have space to plan and we do not need big funding to do it, but there is no urgency to solve the problem,” said Nkhoma.

She said CCODE will continue negotiating government and helping the people in their quest to upgrade heir slums. 

Bizwick Gomba, 35 left Mazinga village in Madisi, Dowa this very year, he told Nation on Sunday that his pork business was sketchy in Dowa where unless Tobacco sold well, people did not buy enough to sustain him.

Gomba says in Mtandire life is better: he rakes in moneys daily from the pork; he lives in an iron-sheet house and says his children will grow up in town and know more things than in the village.

Until he arrived in town, Gomba was part of the 80 percent Malawians that live in the rural areas and figures indicate that by 2030, the trend will reverse, only 20 percent will be in the villages, the rest will be urban areas which are attractive in the way Lilongwe attracted Gomba.

The problem is, with no skills and no starting capital, will everyone sell pork? The answer is of course the makeshift homes like Mtandire, which depite standing for 50 years, has nothing standing that was built that long ago. 

Seven out of every ten people one meets in Malawi’s urban areas reside in informal settlements; that is about 1.7 Million Malawians living in Mtandire-type of settlemts, according to the Ministry of Lands and Housing.

Well, it seems there is a wind whispering concious voices in the favelas and shanty ghettos, on Wednesday slum dwellers from almost all districts in the country met at Mtandire and agreed that they are tired, not only of living in the concrete jungles but also of waiting on politicians to solve their problems.

The slum dwellers have since established a “Slum Upgrading Fund” to benefit the country’s urban poor.  The slum dwellers have engaged CCODE to use its expertise to be the fund’s secretariat but government representatives, the slum dwellers themselves and other interested partners will manage the fund.

“This fund will be capitalised through community contributions, funding partners, Malawians of goodwill; and government contributions. 

“We feel that demonstration our potency by starting off this fund should help us leverage more resources from other stake-holders and that we will have greater say on our priotities if we have a community driven fund and decisions are taken by ourselves,” reads a communique that the slum dwellers released at the end of their meeting.

The ‘slum’ dwellers will have to contribute 10 percent of the funding for the development project they want.
Nkhoma warned that the effects of ignoring the slums will later catch up with the rest of the city who only think that slums are full of vice and to be ignored.

Already there was no government representative at the Slum dwellers Indaba despite being invited and right now another Bizwick Gomba might be preparing to come to town and if the country continues ignoring them, we might as well buy that newcomer a gun because crime and vice may be his only way out.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Negotiating the cost of giving life Joyce Banda's way

Felicia Yohane has sired four babies in her life, two of those did not live to celebrate their first birthday, two are living and now that she is 7 months pregnant, she is very aware of what can happen to her expected baby.

Felicia lives in one of the 197 villages that look to Lumbadzi Health Centre for assistance, she has to walk a long distance of about 2 hours to come to the health centre. And she is not alone; the hospital sees 160 maternity deliveries per month, 10 waiting cases per day and hoards of pregnant women coming for neo-natal care, that is the attention given soon before delivery.

Felicia’s pillar, Lumbadzi hospital however has only thirteen beds in the small maternity wing that has no waiting area, the 13 beds therefore service those that have delivered and those about to. It’s a case of hard rock and place because the next nearest health centre is 15 Kilometres away from Lumbadzi.

Felicia in a one on one with a nurse
The situation at Lumbadzi is just the summit that is visible; the real mountain spans across Malawi, almost all health centres in the country face what Lumbadzi health centre faces.

Out of every 100,000 women that give births in Malawi about 700 of them die in the process, this is high by all means, in Estonia out of the 100,00 only two women are expected to succumb.

Felicia’s deceased little ones are also part of a bigger nationwide problem, 80 babies die out of every 1000 before they complete their fifth year. She lost her babies at four and nine months and the worry for her next baby is written all over her baby face. 

Since Joyce Banda assumed real power after the death of Mutharika in April this year she instantly leapt to highlight the plight of the mothers and infants. If Bingu sang food security and green belt, Banda’s song is from the safe motherhood studio.

She set up her Presidential Initiative on Maternal Health Safe Motherhood. Though difficult to separate it from the politics that accompany its activities, the initiative is breathing in new life into the fight against preventable deaths of women and children around the pregnancy and birth period.

Misozi Jimusole is the Initiative’s media and advocacy officer. I asked him why women need to be given priority.

“Women make 52 percent of our population; they contribute the most to the country’s output its only fair that they should be safe guarded. In safeguarding women, we will also be advancing towards Millennium Development Goal number five.

“The role of women cannot be overemphasised, in any country excluding women from development means that nation cannot develop, including women and having a healthy involved female population means more development,” said Jimusole.

Felicia braves the October heat to travel to the hospital, she knows what dangers come with shying away from hospital; the rest are not that informed.

Jimusole said some women discouraged by distance, cultural beliefs and illiteracy go turn to traditional birth attendants who have little real knowledge about pregnancy complications and motherhood best practices, and he says this exposes mothers to all kinds of risks including death.

While 71 in every hundred women go to the hospital, about 29 seek the attention from traditional birth attendants, who obviously cannot perform a caesarean section and will be quick to point to witchcraft for simple complication.

Children born in the hands of traditional birth attendants are also likely to miss out on vital immunisation given to the baby in the early days of its birth, if the mother looses too much blood during the birth process there is little the attendants can do apart from watch the new mother die. 

But with only thirteen beds there to accommodate 160 women all in a month, it might not be culture or illiteracy that might be  forcing women to go deliver at home and this is what Banda’s Initiative is aiming to tackle.

“The Initiative wants to construct maternity waiting shelters to ensure close monitoring of pregnant mothers and encouragement to seek quality maternal care at public health facilities to avoid complications arising from giving birth at homes,” said Jimusole

And its not just talk.

It is also seeking to replicate its Mulanje feats in Dowa, Balaka, Karonga, Mchinji and Lilongwe and in Ntcheu. Lumbadzi will also get a shelter and funds are reported to have already been secured.

In the drive to attain an almost zero maternal mortality rate, infrastructure is on one hand, the other hand includes human resource, if all the women can decide to come deliver in the hospitals are there enough trained minders? 

At our case study health centre at Lumbadzi there are 13 qualified nurses to mind not just the maternity wing but the whole hospital such that the 160 or so pregnant women have to see the same people that people with Malaria have to see.

President Banda’s other goal in the initiative is to try and beef up the numbers of these minders. In a slow but significant move, she has already identified 200 young women, 10 from several districts have been identified to start midwifery training.

The project aims at increasing numbers of skilled and trained midwives. Maternal and neonatal rates are still high not only due to lack of sufficient health personnel but also untrained traditional birth attendants. 

“We also want to build capacity of community midwives to promote health seeking behaviour and attitudes of the communities towards family planning, reduced pregnancy, delivery complications and encourage girl child education,” said Jimusole.

Again, having trained personnel and building is never a guarantee that the village folks will flock to get expert care. In Malawi missionaries came with life saving drugs but the population took years to accept modern medicine, some still have not.

Jimusole said the third goal of the initiative is just that, trying to win over communities and to do that chiefs must be target. 

“In order to achieve the effective access to maternal and neonatal health care, Community mobilization and training to the chiefs and their subjects is of paramount importance. There is lack of knowledge on how to handle maternal and neonatal health care so chiefs as opinion leaders are good targets in accelerating behaviour change.

Felicia mounts the scale to check her pregnancy progress
“The chiefs promote cultural habits that influence health seeking behavior and attitudes of the communities towards family planning, pregnancy and delivery, preserve women dignity by stopping defilement, and other forms of violence that make women insecure and unstable in their lives,” said Jimusole.

One of the chiefs who is well won over to the side of progress in Inkosi Kwataine, he says his area of jurisdiction is on its way towards decreasing mother and infant deaths by employing a simple trick which he is now campaigning for.

“Local documentation of pregnancies will erase many problems. Chiefs will be cable to track the progress of the pregnancy and ask if the mother-to-be has gotten a vaccine, where she plans to go for delivery and to push her to go to the hospital when her time is near,” said Kwataine.

Hebeli Honde was also at Lumbadzi Health Centre when Nation on Sunday visited, she hails from kwa Chiponde and is only 18. She has never given birth before, she will do so in 3 months all factors constant.
Jimusole: Aiming for MDG number 5
“I cannot go trust azamba (traditional birth attendant), it’s my first time and I want all the attention, I will come wait here when I am in my advanced stage,” said Honde.

Joyce Banda knew that with her influence business people would be ashamed to ignore her initiative, already big companies have donated to the Initiative. And so far that is what is funding the Initiative.

Naturally big businesses cannot spend on causes without brands and the Joyce Banda trick is working, mothers have hope...the only question is how long will it take and what happens when Joyce Banda leaves power?
Honde sits among her mates possibly sharing stories of what labour feels like, it easy to see fear in her eyes. Her fears can easily be reality if no one springs to action to help address the current situation.