Karonga South Member of Parliament (MP) Malani Mtonga (People’s Party-PP) asked Ministry of Health (MoH) to equip rural hospitals with full diagnostic facilities, functional operating theatres and mortuaries.
He said this in the National Assembly in Lilongwe during question time.
“I have in mind Chilumba Rural Hospital which has no full diagnostic facilities, no functional operating theatre and a mortuary,” he said.
Mtonga’s question was supplementary to the one made by Horace Chipuwa of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) MP for Lilongwe Mapuyu North asked the Minister of Health to consider expanding Lemwe Health Centre by constructing a maternity ward and a fence.
He also asked theMinistry of Health for the fence around Chileka Health Centre and staff houses at the facility.
Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi said as regards Chilumba Rural Hospital toequipped with necessary medical support services such as diagnostic equipment, a mortuary and operating theatre, according to the current budget, “this was not specifically provided for.”
However, Muluzi said there is an opportunity with regards to government’s ability to access resources through the Health Sector Joint Fund to access such equipment. “We would also look at the possibility of including Chilumba Rural Hospital within that. I have taken note of this and we will make an assessment to determine the full extent of the challenges being experienced as a result of non-functioning facilities at Chilumba Rural Hospital,” said Muluzi.
Muluzi also told the House that said his ministry is actively pursuing a policy of ensuring that people, including those in remote areas, do not travel for more than eight kilometres before accessing health facilities.
He said most of the health centres will have maternity wings.