Malawi leader cheers patients at Mangochi hospital

President Joyce Banda on Christmas Day, December 25, 2012 visited Mangochi District Hospital to cheer the sick, saying while most people celebrated the Birth of Lord Jesus Christ in various forms, many others suffering in various forms and needed others people’s care and support.

The President visited the maternity ward, where four children had been born on the day, antenatal ward, men’s, children’s and women’s wards, donating various gifts including blankets, food and soap.

“I agreed with my cabinet colleagues (ministers and deputy ministers) that we must take this opportunity (Christmas holiday) to reach out to the suffering in different hospitals and homes. Many people are suffering and are unable to celebrate as they could have wished to. It’s our obligation as leaders to cheer them and offer them hope,” President Banda told reporters after she toured the hospital.

The Head of State noted that while some people were bedridden because of various illnesses, others had lost loved ones during this period and that such people also needed comforting.

JB in the children’s ward

She hailed Mangochi District Hospital medical personnel and other staff for their “dedication and commitment to work”, saying they work hard in the face of various operational hardships.

“I have sensed a spirit of hard work among the people working at this hospital. This facility is also a training ground for various medical practitioners and the kind of positive environment I have seen today at the hospital tarries very well with its (training) status. I am extremely impressed with the level of cleanliness that I have seen here,” said President Banda.

The President said the medical personnel at Mangochi District Hospital were “achieving a lot with very little”, encouraging them to work even harder.

She said only healthy citizens could positively contribute to the social and economic development of the country and that there was no better time that Malawi needed healthy citizens than today when her government is in the process of repairing a tattered economy.

Mangochi District Health Officer, Dr. Etha Muliya told the President one of the major challenges facing the institution is lack of enough space hence it is always overcrowded. In extreme cases, patients share a bed and that others sleep on the floor, she said.

Mlia said Mangochi Hospital had 400 beds and that there were more than 394 patients at the time of the president’s visit.

The population under the hospital’s catchment area is 75, 000.

The hospital, which also serves as a district referral, registered 25 births within the last 24 hours, of whom 17 were males and eight females, according to Mangochi District Nursing Officer, Lonnie Mkwepere.

JB offers a gift of food items to an expectant woman

JB in the hospital pharmacy

JB holds a newly-born baby

JB in the women’s ward

Mangochi District Health Officer Etha Muliya explains to JB some of the challenges they face

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