Voices from the MDGi programme in Zambia
Hear more about the impact of the EU-supported MDGi programme in Zambia from the frontline.
Elijah Banda, 56, radio listening group member
“I started with the listener group in 2016. I found it a very good programme, very educative. And very helpful. I personally didn’t know how to support my wife when she was pregnant. Having listened, it has really helped me as an individual. Previously it was just my wife alone: I was not even interested in her pregnancy. Through the group sessions I learned how important it is to support. I am also able to teach others why male involvement is so important.
“As men we had very little information. Our role was just to make the woman pregnant. It ended there. But now we know we have to help. The man must help her prepare a birth plan. My role now is as a champion because I have the knowledge. Recently its really helped me. I am able to talk to other men. They are getting the message.
“For example, they come to me, to talk, to discuss about how many children they should have. I talk to them about child spacing. To wait, two to four years after the first child. To allow your wife to gain energy. It is not good to have a child each and every year. You have to space the children. That means contraception and there is always resistance. This message has to be passed to other people.”
Brevia Nambela, 38, radio listening group member
“Women don’t understand the dangers of giving birth at home. They do it out of ignorance. All they need is knowledge. The most important message I learned in the group today was about how to prepare for pregnancy, to reduce the mortality of women and to reduce the number of still births.
“I myself have four children. My husband passed away so I raise the children on my own. The eldest girl is 21, she’s unmarried. I share things I have learned in the listener group with them, especially the elder ones. All my kids are fully immunized. I like reading about it.
It protects them from diseases. The younger ones go to school.
“Message to your daughter? I would tell her it’s so important to look after the children properly, to educate them, health-wise. One lesson is to talk to the kids, educate them, open their minds, help them understand things; then it’s much less likely they will go off the rails, it’s critical. Education is critical in life.”
Mary Malenga 50, radio listening group facilitator
“MDGi has brought services like antenatal and under 5 health care and growth monitoring into the communities. Before they had to come into the centre. Child health care is being provided in the zones which are part of Buchi community.
“The one biggest thing I have learned during my time with MDGi is that I can stand here and speak. Before we couldn’t. Since MDGi was here, we have had more training and workshops. We have more knowledge. We can speak with confidence.”
“I started to have pains yesterday during the afternoon and came to the clinic at 8 pm. I came by taxi with my sister and my husband. We were received so well. It was like arriving home! The nurse checked my vital signs and I was given a bed. I delivered at 10.30 pm. The delivery was straightforward, without complications. “I had my first child while I was living in Western Province. I had my second child here, in George Centre, in 2017, and it was a difficult birth. “Conditions were very different then. The women who were about to deliver were mixed together with the mothers who had already had their babies. We watched each other deliver – there was no privacy at all. And we all had to share the same toilets. The conditions were
much worse than they are now.”