By Vincent Khonje
Bua Health Centre in Kasungu has received a modern maternity wing constructed under Integrated Pathways for Improving Maternal Newborn and Child Health (InPATH) project after relying on a small four bed maternity wing for 35 years.
The health centre carters for a catchment area of 50, 716 people and an extra 20, 000 which comes from neighboring Dowa district and has an average of 95 deliveries every month.
Secretary for Health Dr Dan Namarika who on behalf of government received the wing on Wednesday said the delivery of quality maternal, newborn and child health services to Malawians is one major strategic objectives of the Ministry of Health.
Dr Namarika said quality health care and the acceleration towards reduction of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity cannot be achieved in the absence of the required infrastructure and amenities describing the new wing as a milestone.
“The new and modest maternity wing is anticipated to ease the workload of the district hospital which has an average of 930 deliveries a month.
“The old Bua maternity wing had four beds while the new one has 16 beds and adequate rooms to carter for all sexual and reproductive health services,? said Dr. Namarika.
Sellina Sosten of Thamison Village Traditional Authority Njombwa expressed her gratitude saying the old health facility had a small space making it uncomfortable for mothers who used to shun it for the district hospital.
?The new wing has enough space, more beds and hygienic as it is also supplied with running water,? said Sosten.
InPATH project team leader Dr Tambudzai Rashid said the old facility made it difficult to deliver quality services to mothers because of its environment but now the situation has changed.
?The old Bua maternity wing was tiny and they were even not able to offer some services to the mothers. My interaction with mothers here has shown this is a very comfortable environment for them,? said Rashid.
The new facility has washrooms, a well ventilated waiting bay, post natal ward, delivery suite, kangaroo care ward, an observation room and there are beds and medical equipment installed.
The facility is also able to offer Post Abortion Care which was not the case in the past.
InPATH project being implemented by Cowater Sogema and Plan International with funding from the Canadian government is also in other districts of Salima and Chitipa.
It started in 2016 and will end in 2021.
The project, apart from earlier providing 10 ambulances to the district health office, it has also renovated Santhe and Wimbe health facilities and major and minor theatres of Kasungu district hospitals.