NICO supports completion of GAIA’s mobile health clinic operation centre in Mulanje

NICO Life and NICO Pension jointly donated K1.8 million to Global Health Interfaith Alliance (GAIA) for the completion of the construction of a new mobile clinic operation centre based at Chikuse Village in Mulanje.

hima (left) hands over the ceremonial cheque to GAIA’s Nkhata

This is a second support as the two NICO Group subsidiary companies initially supported the project by injecting K542,100 to buy bags of cement last year to kick start construction up to roof level.

GAIA’s Finance & Administration Manager, Adalileni Nkhata said the project stalled in the past months due to the COVID-19 pandemic but now with this extra support from NICO, they envisage to complete it by end of next month.

Nkhata said GAIA runs six mobile clinics services — four in Mulanje and two in Phalombe — that comprise a clinical officer, a nurse, a nurse aide, a driver and ambulance and each team makes five stops in the communities providing primary health care services with referral system set up.

The Chikuse operation centre initially comprised just makeshift shelters using churches and other community structures and when the structures were running down, GAIA decided to approach various stakeholders — and NICO was one of them.

“We reaches out to several stakeholders in early 2019 and NICO was the first to respond by supporting us with the bags of cement that helped to build the structure to roof level,” she said.

“We received a lot of support from the sorrounding community of over 200 households and they came out to assist in the construction in cognizance that this is going to benefit the community, said Nkhata.

Apart from being a mobile clinic operating centre, it is also going to be used for various social activities of the community.

She applauded NICO for the support, saying “this will be beyond beneficial in that the refurbished Chikuse community structure will provide extra rooms for provision of family planning services as well as for use as an early child development centre.

Nkhata said they felt confident to approach the NICO Group because GAIA insures with the country’s leading financial service providers through staff pensions and operations vehicles insurances.

“We now have the confidence that our partnership is very strong and hope to build it beyond in other endeavours,” Nkhata said.

In his remarks, NICO Pension General Manager, Gerald Chima said as a caring brand they feel committed to ensuring that Malawians have access to decent health facilities.

“One of our visions in our business world is to care for our customers and to make a difference to people’s lives,” he said. “That is why we did not hesitate to assist GAIA when they approached us as this squarely falls on our mission.

“At NICO, we believe that everyone, regardless of demography, deserves access to health services and our support is also in recognition of the excellent work that GAIA is doing.

“The mobile clinics and the work GAIA is doing in the communities is going a long way in ensuring that more Malawians have access to needed health services.

“As a caring corporate citizen, NICO is committed to ensuring that it plays its part in giving back to the community it operates in,” Chima said.

Other services that GAIA provides include a medical scholarship programme that covers nationwide and currently has over 600 beneficiaries at Kamuzu College of Nursing, Mzuzu University, Malawi College of Health Sciences and Holy Family.

It supports needy nursing students and the packages include tuition, upkeep, licensure support, nursing supplies and in return the nurses offer their solidarity after graduating by working in the public sector and Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) hospitals.

GAIA also has Targeted Community Programme that covers vulnerable  women and children, community HIV testing services and academic support for primary and secondary students (tuition, stipend, uniforms and learning materials).

It also offers orphan support for child-headed families and engages with adolescents through school clubs that advocates against teenage pregnancies and child marriages.

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