Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese of the Catholic Church has laid a foundation stone for a K400 million clinic project at Chisankhwa in Traditional Authority Mwaulambia in Chitipa District.
During the groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, Mtumbuka said the diocese’s initiative seeks to complement government efforts to take health services close to communities.
“Apart from evangelising, we also respond to people’s physical needs. The clinic will bring services close to mothers and children who travel 15 kilometres [km] to Chitipa District Hospital,” the bishop said.
Chitipa district social welfare officer Joyce Luhana commended Karonga Diocese for the project, saying when completed, it will bring health services close to the people, especially expectant mothers.
“The clinic will promote safe motherhood in the area,” she said.
Group village head Mwakabanga commended the diocese for the initiative, saying a lot of people struggle to access health services.
“Health facilities are far away from people. The nearest being Chitipa District Hospital, about 15 km away,” he said.
Joyce Mtegha, a villager, said she was pleased with the project because she will no longer travel long distances to hospitals.
Once completed, the clinic will have an outpatient department, maternity wing, mothers’ waiting home, administration block, incinerator and staff houses.
Besides the clinic project, the diocese has set aside K60 million for the construction of a priest’s house for the newly established parish in the area as well as at Kameme. The health facility is funded by Catholics in Florida, United States of America and is expected to serve a population of over 6 000 people from eight villages.