Beyond radio listening

Call her Dziko. But that’s not her real name. She doesn’t want to use her real name – because of grief. 

We got married in June, after I fallen pregnant. We were happy expecting our first child. We also had selected a name for the upcoming baby.

But on this fateful day, around 8 pm, together with my husband, we started off by foot to Msakambewa Health Centre, about 5 kilometers away.

Along the way, labour pains intensified. I asked my husband, to get help from the nearby houses. Help did come but by that time, I had already delivered all by myself.

“When the women came and touched my baby, the child was already dead,” she recalled amid swelling tears in her eyes.

Dziko, was taken to the hospital, where an injection was administered and she returned home.

While following up on her story, Golong’ozi RLC members reported that she was very pale, with swollen legs and hands; her eyes were yellow in colour.

“The mother in-law confirmed that her daughter has been unwell. As a RLC, we decided to get her back to the hospital where she was referred to Dowa District hospital. She is recovered but still grieving.”

This incident taught us that we were beyond a radio listening club, but a group that had earned community trust and was a grouping that influencing positive behavioural and attitude change in the community.

This, and other follow-up sessions that the RLCs got engaged in are beyond radio. There are in fact, aspects of having a stimulator or facilitator that stimulates dialogue or discussion on matters that affect the given community.

Since reporting the matter by RLC, Group Village Head Khangani has directed that anyone who would give birth along the road and not at a health facility, they would be required to pay fine of a goat.

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