Mothers with newborn babies at Chilumba rural hospital in Karonga were all smiles on Christmas day when member of parliament for the area Rev. Malani Mtonga donated assorted items to the maternity ward.
The legislator also held a meeting with the hospital personnel who did not hide their discontent with poor working conditions at the hospital.
The staff, especially nurses, cited as an example the issue of allowances, commonly known as locum, which they have not been paid for some years now.
On his part, Rev. Mtonga promised to take up the matter with responsible authorities at the capital hill in Lilongwe after the festive holidays.
“Today I celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ with new born babies at Chilumba rural hospital. I prepared assorted items to share with them,” said Mtonga.
He added: “During my visit to the hospital I also took the opportunity to meet with the hospital staff just to have an idea of how they are working and if possible know the challenges they are facing. Being a rural hospital, there are so many challenges which need urgent attention and I have promised them that after the festivities I will take up the key issues to the ministry headquarters in Lilongwe.”
Mtonga who previously served as special aide to two former presidents namely late Prof. Bingu wa Mutharika and Dr. Joyce Banda respectively, further assured the hospital staff that as MP for the area he will look around for well wishers to assist with hospital materials especially beds in the male ward where patients are sleeping on the floor due to lack of beds and space.
Chilumba, like many rural hospitals in Malawi, has perennial challenges such as shortage of staff as most of personnel prefer working in urban centers.