Karonga, Communities in Kayelekera in Karonga have expressed worry over delays by the Karonga District Council to make Kayelekera Health Clinic fully operational, a development that makes it difficult for communities in the area to access health services.
The clinic, which was constructed by Paladin Africa to the tune of $70, 000 (about MK40 million), was officially handed over to the community in June this year (2017) but up to now the facility is not fully operational.
One of the members of Kayelekera community, Mathias Kalua, expressed the concern Tuesday during a meeting where Malawi Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative presented a report on how much the mining sector remitted to government in the 2015/2016 financial year.
Kalua said it was surprising to note that the hospital lacks medical equipment for it to become operational six months after it was officially handed over to the council.
He said it was pathetic to see people, especially women covering a distance of over 20 Kilometers to and from Wiliro Health Centre for health services while their own health facility is just idle.
Kalua said people surrounding the clinic were so happy to see Paladin Africa constructing the clinic in the area, but they are currently disappointed since the facility no longer benefits them due to lack of medical equipment and drugs.
This is costly to the poor people. We were happy to see our own clinic, but it is not fully operational because the council has not yet provided the facility with some essential equipment among other necessities, he said.
Commenting on the issue, Paramount Chief Kyungu asked Karonga District Council to work with urgency on the procuring process of the said medical equipment and drugs for the people to have easy access to health services within reach.
The chief said it was uncalled for, for people to continue traveling to long distances while they have a clinic facility at their doorsteps.
I would like to ask the district council to work with speed on the procurement process of the equipment for this clinic; otherwise I do not consider it was officially opened. Once they procure the required equipment, I myself will come for official handover of the facility, said Kyungu.
In his remarks, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for the council, Isaac Mkandawire who represented Karonga District Commissioner at the meeting said the council was doing all it can to ensure that the medical equipment and drugs are procured and provided to the facility.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA