Covisode team facilitating the opening of the hospital

Alick Sichali

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-Despite having all the resources; water, electricity, toilets and staff houses Chang’ambika Health Clinic has not been operational for 11 years now. 

The hospital was closed in 2010 after the villagers had misunderstandings with the then doctor who was caught stealing the facilities resources.

In an interview with Last Zuda who is residing in the area said the doctor stole 90 bags of cement, mattresses and bed.

Zuda said after the doctor was caught doing the malpractice, residents reacted in an aggressive way contrary to the rules.

“Since the scenario in 2010, the doctor and some staff were chased from the hospital. And for 11 years now the facility is not functioning, the office of District Health Officer (DHO) is yet to allocate a doctor and medical assistance at this hospital,” Zuda said.

Speaking to some women in the area lamented challenges they are facing due to the closure of the hospital.

Mary Kambanje in grief explained the trauma she faced during the birth of her 5th child.

Kambanje who was sadden by the closure of the hospital suffered severe pain during the process.

“My 5th child was born when I was on the road in search for health services. Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the hospital, it was the bad experience I had ever and recently an infant has passed on due to failure to access good health services,”

“We appeal to authorities to assist us. 10 years ago we acted against the laws but now it is a different and changed community,” Kambanje Said.

In an interview with Chikwawa DHO, Dr Stalin Zinkanda, said authorities in the area were directed to renovate the facility before sending staff.

“We about the challenge, it is true that the hospital is not working for more than 10 years now. We directed that they should maintain the buildings before resuming operations.

With our funding at the moment, we can’t afford to set aside funds for that process hence requesting the Member of Parliament to facilitate the process,” Zinkanda said.

Susan Dossi, Member of Parliament (MP) for Chikwawa West was not available for her immediate reaction on the matter.

Executive Director for Common Vision for Social Development (Covisode), Oscar Chilemba, said with funding from Tilitonse Project they are engaging authorities and the community for Chang’ambika Health Centre to be opened.

Chilemba said in absence of the health centre, residents are failing to access services.

He has since appealed to authorities to consider opening the facility.

From 2010 to date about 7 pregnant women have died due to lack of health care

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