North referees cheer hospitalized children on New Year’s Eve

Football referees in the northern region finished the year 2021 with charitable work as they cheered children at Chintheche Rural Hospital in Nkhata-Bay district.

The referees did this as part of their annual end of year get together that took place at Nsondozi Beach Lodge.

Northern region referees

A total of 47 referees from all the districts in the northern region namely Chitipa, Karonga, Mzimba, Rumphi, Mzuzu City and Nkhata-Bay pulled resources together to purchase assorted items that were given to the children at the hospital. On New Year’s Eve at Chintheche Rural Hospital, there were 12 babies in the Post-natal Ward, one was still in the Labour Ward, one in the Nursery Ward while 6 children were in the Children’s Ward.

Each of the babies and children was given a parcel containing laundry soap, bathing soap, soya pieces and salt.

Speaking to Nyasa Times at the hospital, Chairperson for Northern Region Referees Association (NRRA), Misheck Juba, said the gesture was one way of interacting with the communities that the referees serve.

The referees team up for a football match

“We recognise that all our referees were born in different communities and remain part of those communities which they also serve. At the end of every year, we organise such an event. We have been doing this in Karonga, Chitipa and Mzuzu in past years.

“Referees contribute and sometimes well-wishers come in to support us. For example, this year the Chairperson of Northern Region Football Association (NRFA), Dr Lameck Khonje, and Mr Ngwira from Chintheche here gave us financial support towards this initiative,” explained Juba.

Chairperson of the Organising Committee, Mike Misinjo, told Nyasa Times that the event did not take place in 2020 because of Covid-19.

“The Covid-19 pandemic affected us last year and we did not have this kind of event,” he said.

Moses Munthali, a Clinical Officer at the hospital, hailed the referees for visiting the hospital during the festive season.

The referees interact with the children

“Not every guardian in hospital has all basic needs. This is a welcome gesture especially at a time like this one when there are only hours remaining before getting into the new year,” he explained.

Mother to one newly born baby boy, June Phiri, said it was rare for people to think of visiting babies and children in hospital and thanked the referees for what they did.

Chintheche Rural Hospital attends to 200 to 250 patients per day in the Out Patients Department and admits up to 40 patients.

In the afternoon, the referees played a social football match against Chintheche Socials Football Team at Chintheche Community Ground which they lost by a goal to nil. Kennedy Kanyenda scored the only goal of the match after 26 minutes into the first half.

The climax of their get together was a party at Nsondozi Beach Lodge which saw them crossing over into the year 2022.

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