Mother and child wait in line for a consultation at the health clinic, which is now supported by Bilka through Norwegian Church Aid. (Photo: Carl Gustav Klemmed Lorentzen/DanChurchAid)
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, and mortality rates among mothers and children are very high. 28 per cent of all newborns die during birth, and only 54 per cent of Malawi’s mothers give birth in hospital.
Norwegian Church Aid has signed and agreement with the Bilka Group in Denmark and sister organisation Dan Church Aid to provide improved healthcare for mothers and children in Malawi.
During a pilot phase, two local health centres in south Malawi will receive assistance towards upgrading and improving their facilities for pregnant women, mothers and children. The Bilka Goup has provided 5,958,000 Norwegian Kroner (over US$ 1 million) towards these activities.
”We are extremely grateful for the support, which has made it possible for us to reach out to even more mothers and children in Malawi. Bilka’s support will save lives,” says Kari Øyen, country representative for Norwegian Church Aid in Malawi.
Once the pilot phase is completed and evaluated, Bilka will consider extending its support to cover 17 health centres in Malawi over a five-year period.
First aid kits for sale
The Bilka Group has mobilised its employees and customers to support the initiative, as part of a drive to show that it takes its corporate social responsibility very seriously. A number of different fundraising schemes have been devised to this end.
In Bilka stores across Denmark, customers have been able to purchase virtual first aid kits, environmentally friendly bricks and mosquito nets – each represented in the form of a gift card. The proceeds raised by the sale of these virtual gifts are used to support the health project in Malawi. A fundraising competition among employees also raised money towards the project.
Environmentally friendly bricks being produced to improve the health centres.(Photo: Carl Gustav Klemmed Lorentzen/DanChurchAid)