The Malawi Health Equity Network (MEHN) has slammed government for stalled construction of the long-awaited Phalombe District Hospital.
On October 14 2015 President Peter Mutharika assured that construction of the long-awaited district hospital would start “within two to three months” but up to now the project which was supposed to commence 15 years ago is yet to start.
Speaking to Nyasa Times in one on one interviews , MEHN Executive Director, George Jobe said it is unfortunate that it is only Phalombe District which has no public district hospital in Malawi.
MEHN comments comes barely few weeks after the Parliamentary Committee on Health visited the district to see the progress of the project but found nothing on the ground.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Juliana Lunguzi who said the Phalombe District Hospital is being used as a pawn to win votes. said there is not even a single trip of sand or bricks.
“We believe that people of Phalombe has such a right to access medical care like any other districts,”she said..
“If the hospital is constructed it will be able to serve a population of about half a million. We cannot deny the people of Phalombe their right to health,” said Lunguzi, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) MP for Dedza East.
Lunguzi said the Phalombe District Hospital is being used as a pawn to win votes.
On his part, Jobe querried on allocations in the national budget since 2005 towards the project.
“This Phalombe District Hospital need to start now,” he said.
In June last year, disgruntled people in Phalombe petitioned the President on the stalled project. They asked the President to visit the district within 14 days and give them an update.
In addition to budget allocations, Parliament in 2008 also approved a Loan Authorisation Bill for government to borrow $18 million from Saudi Fund for Development and Arab Bank for Economic Development (Badea) for the project.
Each year, government has been putting aside in the budget around K100 million to K150 million resources for implementing this project.
The project cost for construction, according to the Ministry of Health is approximately (about $22 million or about K15 billion at current exchange rates).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :