Duty-bearers and community leaders around four health centres in Paramount Chief Kyungu in Karonga have collaborated to address the ailing healthcare service delivery in the district.
The four facilities are Mlare, Lupembe, Kasoba and Mwenilondo which are struggling to provide health services due to shortage of healthcare workers, lack of running water and electricity as well as delay to finish some infrastructure.
Speaking on Saturday during a meeting organised by Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Mlare Health Centre management committee chairperson Vyanangika Mkwala said the facility’s maternity wing project stalled at foundation level in 2019, forcing pregnant women to travel 35 kilometres to Karonga District Hospital to deliver.
He also said a maternity wing and waiting shelter at Lupembe Health Centre are yet to open three years after their completion.
In response, Karonga District director of health and social services David Sibale said most of the issues raised were technical in nature and can be addressed by the council.
“We can facilitate the introduction of anti-retroviral treatment services through mobile clinics and deploy healthcare workers when government employs new ones,” he said.
Karonga District Council chairperson Belium Msukwa said there was need for community members to provide 25 percent of building materials for the construction of staff houses to attract healthcare workers.
He said: “For the stalled maternity wing project at Mlare Health Centre, it will resume under the Governance to Enable Service Delivery Project.
“We will also follow up with the contractor of the waiting shelter at Lupembe Health Centre to hand it over to the community,” he said.
CHRR project coordinator Modester Ramondi commended duty-bearers and community leaders for the fruitful engagement.
With funding from Oxfam, CHRR is implementing a health governance project in the area.