The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has donated a magnificent hospital facility to Dzaleka Health Centre to help curb congestion.
Dzaleka health centre is located at the heart of Dzaleka Refugee camp serving both refugees and locals surrounding the area.
Handing over the facility to government, Senior Protection Officer at UNHCR, Lisa Quarshie said the construction and extension of the facility was a response to the request of the government and people of concern.
She said UNHCR provided funds amounting to MK261, 360,000 towards the facility and was pleased to observe the successful completion of the facility.
Quarshie said the development would serve to mitigate the problem of overcrowded wards and consulting rooms for refugees, asylum seekers and communities around.
“Health is one of the important sectors for the development of this country hence the assistance from UNHCR to help curb congestion when serving both refugees and the community around the area,” she said.
She expressed gratitude to the district health office, the partners and locals for their cooperation for the project to be a success.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the district health office, the partners, the camp manager and all staff for their cooperation. Without their enthusiasm and efforts, this project would not have been achieved so successfully,” said Quarshie.
According to Quarshie, UNHCR operation in Malawi is working closely with the Ministry of health and other partners to address the issue of drug shortages in health care facilities and has procured drugs to the tune of $100,000 for both Luwani health center in Neno district and Dzaleka health center which has benefited 90 percent from it.
In expanding the physical structure of the Dzaleka health center, Quarshie said UNHCR expansion work included a delivery room, first stage room, under-five OPD, post natal ward, two staff semidetached houses, fencing the perimeter of the health center and a security guard room.
“We have done the expansions all around the center but we have also invested in medical equipment, two ambulances and we hope that the facility will receive the expected care and support,” she added.
Receiving the donation on behalf of government, Deputy Commissioner for Refugees in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Dr. Hudson Mankhwala said government has a duty to host the refugees, manage their affairs, and provide security but most of all to provide health facilities.
He said the facility serves a catchment area that has over 60,000 persons both Malawians, refugees and asylum seekers.
“We are grateful to the UNHCR for the decision to upgrade the facility that will go a long way in saving lives of people within the camp and all surrounding areas,” said Mankhwala.
“As you are aware, UNHCR provides medical supplies including drugs to this facility and other health facilities within the jurisdiction of the camp. These developments are therefore extra efforts for which we need to commend you,” he said.
He urged all implementing partners and donors to move in the same direction to ensure that the facility is serving the people in the best interest of everyone.
Chief Preventive Health Officer for Dowa District Health Office, Mavuto Thomas said the facility is a good development expected to serve thousands of people in the camp and all areas within the perimeters of the center.
He said there were serious congestion issues at the center that caused most of the people not to access better services when they visit the facility and hoped that this would curb the problem.
“There was congestion at the center which contributed to poor services when people visit the center as the space was so small to accommodate all patients in need of medical attention.
“We are so grateful to government and UNHCR for the support in realizing this achievement for the development,” said Thomas.
The catchment population of the health center has grown over the years of which 62 percent are Malawians while 38 percent are refugees and asylum seekers.