Kyungu orders opening of Katili clinic in Karonga: ‘Human life is more important’

Paramount Chief Kyungu in Malawi’s northern boarder district of Karonga has ordered the office of the District Commission to use all funds allocated for developmental activities to finish construction works on Katili clinic which has been idle for over seven years putting lives of women and children at risk.

Kyungu said this during the visit by Dr Vilnjaimur Wilum charge de affair of Embassy of Iceland who was accompanied by deputy finance minister Cornelius Mwalwanda and chairperson for the Presidential Initiative on Safe motherhood senior Chief Kwataine, where it was revealed that pregnant mothers and babies surrounding the clinic are dying due to lack of healthy facility nearby.

“Last year we buried 22 new born babies which are not even registered at the hospital as their mothers give birth on the way to the hospital. And this year we also had eight deaths of new born babies due to the same problem because we find it very challenging to cover a 30 kilometers distance to the nearest hospital in which we cover almost 25 kilo meters on foot”, said Loyisi Gondwe a member of community.

Kyungu said it is very pathetic that some of people are still struggling to get health services after 50 years of independence in our country.

Kyungu giving the command in front of the community
Kyungu giving the command in front of the community

“I am ordering the office of the District Commission to use all funds which are allocated to do developmental projects here to finish the clinic because human life is more important than everything, I cant watch and see this is happening in my land ,” said Kyungu.

However Kwataine who sympathized with the people on the situation said his office can not do anything to solve the problem.

“Our president do not want to see mothers and new born babies dying because of pregnancies and she has put all what she can to a void these incidences  but unfortunately, we cannot give a helping hand at this situation because we provide our services on health clinics which are working,” said Kwataine

He however urged send pregnant women to the hospital before nine months for the safety of the baby and the mother.

The Iceland ambassador Vilnjaimur Wilum said he will make sure that the clinic starts working to give relief to the people in the community.

“I have never been in the northern side of Malawi, this is my first time and I didn’t know that people still face such problem here a very bad thing for a pregnant woman and sick children,”

District Medical Officer Charles Sungani who represented the District Healthy Officer said “its really very painful to see that we are failing to finish the clinic which could have saved hundreds of lives because we don’t have adequate funds to finish the hospital.”

The Director of Planning and Development Emanuel Bulukutu said the clinic need about K9million to start operating.

“We have almost finished the construction works but what is remaining is water supply so that everything should be finalized and the rest we will hear from the District Healthy Officer because they are the ones responsible for the hospital operation,” said Bulukutu.

He said the council feels the clinic should start operating as early as September.

Authorities visiting katili clinic
Authorities visiting katili clinic

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