Male, female patients share ward at Nkhata Bay health centre

Scores of male and female patients are being sheltered in the same ward at Mzenga Health Centre in the lakeshore district of Nkhata Bay due to lack of enough wards at the health facility, Nyasa Times has learnt.

A visit to the centre by Nyasa Times crew on Saturday revealed that upgrading of the facility halted three years ago despite the fact that commencement had smoothly rolled into life.

Following the abandonment of the upgrading project – which was supposed to construct more wards at the centre – the District Health Office (DHO) at Nkhata Bay decided to make what had been open patients’ waiting room into a ward.

According to Fanny Mphande, Kabunduli Area Development Committee chairperson, the situation at the health centre – which serves over 34 000 people of surrounding areas – is deplorable.

“It is putting patients at risk of contracting communicable diseases from each other because of the overcrowding that is there,” said Mphande.

She added: “Also, it scraps off the dignity of the people as people are forced to put off their clothes once it gets hot – especially during this time of the year.”

Nyasa Times learnt that Commodius Nyirenda, who is contesting as parliamentarian for the area on an independent ticket, has committed himself towards improving the health facility.

He has lobbied the community to mould bricks by offering them a pay and is said to be in the process of buying iron sheets for construction of an extra ward at the centre.

Nkhata Bay DHO Dr. Albert Mkandawire has since applauded Nyirenda for the initiative, asking more people to do the same.

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