For some years, the safe motherhood programme has been compromised especially on the aspect of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) services in rural health facilities. One of the contributing factors has always been the lack of electricity so much that health personnel use cell phones to illuminate labour rooms and sometimes the expectant women are asked to buy candles or bring lamps to the health facility for night deliveries.
Nkhatabay is one of the districts that are currently facing this challenge and health facilities like Bula, Chitheka, Tchesamu, Rwarwe and Mpamba have been operating without electricity and there were some fears of HIV infections from mothers to their children during delivery.
YONECO, in conjunction with its trained Community Based Educators (CBEs) and Community Rights Committees (CRCs) have been advocating for electrification of health facilities through various forums.
Finally, electricity has been installed at Bula and Mpamba health centres after many years of operating without electricity.
Magret Msimuko, a nurse at Bula Heath Centre, cherished the coming in of electricity at the facility especially in the maternity section. She stated that the development has increased the average number of deliveries from 4 to 15 in a month as expectant women are no longer travelling long distances in search for health facilities that have electricity.
The nurse further added that this is good news and the health of women and their babies will be greatly improved.
Bula Health Centre is one of the health facilities in the district that serve a lot of people from Kasasile, Usingini, Makanga, Bundi and Honga areas.