For four years, Ngulube-Mtowo Health Centre in Traditional Authority (T/A) Malili in Lilongwe has remained closed due to lack of medical equipment.
In 2016, rehabilitation works were completed at the facility, but Lilongwe District Health Office (DHO) has not been able to find resources to make it operational.
As a result, community members travel about 20 kilometres to Likuni Hospital to access medical services.
In an interview yesterday, Lilongwe district commissioner (DC) Lawford Palani said: “I am aware that the centre has been deserted for some years now. I visited the place and discovered that construction was completed, but there was no equipment at the facility.
“I discussed with the DHO and agreed that we should source funds because the council does not have money.”
In a separate interview, Bwaila Hospital director of health services Alinafe Mbewe said she visited the facility in 2016 and facilitated the formation of a task force to reach out to partners to help with medical equipment.
“Rehabilitation works were completed in 2016 but Medical Council of Malawi did not approve to open it because it lacked equipment,” she said.
Danson Chunga, a security guard at the facility, said it was difficult to prevent people from vandalising the structure because it has been idle for long.
“People have waited for the facility to open for a long time and now have lost hope; hence, some of them want to vandalise it,” he said.
The DC has since pleaded to stakeholders and well-wishers to help the council rehabilitate the structure and buy necessary equipment.