Malawi President unveils Blantyre Health Centre project

President Joyce Banda has said that her government will do everything possible to make health and medical facilities as closer to the people to ensure that people spend their time in productive activities instead of wasting it covering long distances to access medical attention.

Speaking when she laid a foundation stone for the construction of a modern Nancholi Health Centre in Blantyre on Friday, President Banda said government had an obligation to ensure that people are able to access health care services when needed.

“As a country, it is high time we recognized health as an important resource.  The reality of living a healthy life is what we are seeing now at this rally. If most people were sick and are admitted in hospitals or at home, it would not be possible for us to come and be here together,” said President Banda.

To cost about K250 million, the Nancholi Health Centre—to have a maternity wing, a pharmacy, a laboratory and staff houses—will benefit about 16 surrounding villages who hitherto had to cover a distance of over 10 to 15 kilometres to access medical help of Zingwangwa Health Centre or the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.

The President is taken through the construction map of the Health Centre

The President is taken through the construction map of the Health Centre

The Head of State said she was aware that while there is so much demand for services in the rural areas, the urban population suffers as much and at times even more.

President Banda said her government is undertaking such initiatives to bring medical services closer to the people and ease congestion on Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, the only referral hospital in southern Malawi.

“The distances that people have been walking and the costs incurred to access health care will now be reduced once the facility is completed. The congestion at Queen Elizabeth Central hospital (QECH) will also be reduced thereby giving the doctors at QECH more time to look at specialised conditions other than the primary health care needs,” she explained.

She disclosed that similar health centres will be constructed at two other Blantyre townships of Makhetha and Lunzu, among others.

“I have directed that these health centres should not be the ordinary ones. These should be tailored to the needs that we have as a country. Therefore, these clinics will have a maternity wing, a pharmacy and a laboratory. Only the most difficult cases should be referred to Queens,” explained Dr. Banda.

In a related development, the Malawi leader disclosed that funds have been identified to finally construct the Phalombe District Hospital.

She also announced that the dialysis machines that she personally sourced during her visit to Japan where she attended the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in June were in the country. These, she said, will be distributed to all referral hospitals.

Member of Parliament for the area, Moses Kunkuyu, thanked the President for directing that the project should be undertaken in his area, saying it will help, among other things, in ensuring that diseases that occur in the area are managed quickly and handily.

Minister of Health, Catherine Gotani Hara, also expressed gratitude to the Malawi leader for interventions that are catering towards ensuring that maternal deaths are reduced and wiped out ultimately.

Traditional Authority Nsomba praised President Banda for many development projects in the area.

The President lays a foundation stone for the Health Centre at Nancholi on Friday

The President lays a foundation stone for the Health Centre at Nancholi on Friday

Blantyre District Health Officer briefs the President on the construction of the Health Centre

Blantyre District Health Officer briefs the President on the construction of the Health Centre

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