Catholic-based Centre for Social Concern delighted with completion of Phalombe District Hospital

Catholic-based Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) has expressed delight with the completion of the construction of the long-waited Phalombe District Hospital.

The Centre has since commended the current administration for ensuring the completion of the project whose progress it has been tracking with support from GIZ to ensure transparency and accountability is achieved.

Phalombe District Hospital was one of the government projects the centre has been tracking. Late President Professor Bingu wa Mutharika initiated the project to address challenges the people of Phalombe face to access healthcare services.

Mphepo addressing journalists at one of CfSC sessions in Lilongwe–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

However, his dream died with him, as all the successive administrations paid a blind eye to the project.

However, at Government Faces The Press on Wednesday, the Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, announced that construction of the facility has finally been completed and that the facility is currently waiting for the delivery of furniture and other non-medical products before the official opening next month.

Chiponda added that all non-medical equipment is anticipated to be on-site by end of June 2022.

The news has excited CfSC, which feels the government has been doing injustice to the people of Phalombe by failing to complete the project.

The organization’s Programme Manager responsible for Economic Governance, Bernard Mphepo, said they were relieved that the facility is ready for opening.

“CfSC was concerned with the number of people who were dying due lack of referral hospital and the economic and social challenges faced by Phalombe communities. It’s good news that the hospital is finally complete.

“As CfSC, we feel that the government was not doing enough to ensure that the communities in Phalombe are benefiting from the facility. The hospital has taken about 10 years after the government acquired a loan,” said Mphepo.

“We expect the government to fast track the opening process. The government must also ensure to put mechanism to sustain medical supplies and medical equipment,” he added.

At the news conference, Chiponda also announced that Domasi Community Hospital is at 70 percent completion and is expected to be finalized in June 2023 while construction of Mponela Community Hospital is still ongoing and the overall progress is at around 35 percent.

“There are three construction phases at Mponela Community Hospital. Phase 1 is the most advanced at 70 percent and includes Outpatient Department block (OPD), Maternal and Child Health (MCH) block, X-Ray, and Mortuary. My Ministry has also completed the construction of Chilanga Health Centre in Zomba, Nancholi Health Centre in Blantyre, and Area 23 Health Centre in Lilongwe.

Beginning September 2022, My Ministry will start constructing 8 new health Centres (Lunzu and Chikapa in Blantyre, Kapoka in Chitipa, Mpata in Karonga, Luvwere and Mathanadani in Mzimba, Kamphenda in Rumphi and Matekenya in Dowa) and completion of 3 Health Centres (Chiponde in Lilongwe, Kanyenga in Mangochi and Chafumbwa in Ntchisi).

In addition, we will soon start constructing 55 new health posts in various rural areas in Malawi and construction of offices for the Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM),” she stated.

Chiponda added that as part of the implementation of the Malawi Covid-19 Social Economic Recovery plan aiming at Building a Resilient and Sustainable Health System, the ministry is constructing Infectious Disease Centres in Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre.

She said for the one in Lilongwe, the tender is closing on the 20th of June, 2022 while for the Mzuzu one, the evaluation of the tenders is in progress, while for the one at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital supported by the World Bank, the tendering process will commence next month.

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