Ming’ongo Health Centre in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kalolo in Lilongwe has been operating with a single kerosene lamp which serves all wards at night since 2011.
During the said period, the health facility has also had no functional incinerator and water tank.
“The situation is precarious at night when several women are in labour at the same time because the sole clinician at the facility is forced to use matchsticks to light up rooms while attending to patients. The children’s ward is usually left in darkness.” Group Village Head (GVH) Madetsa toldThe Nation on Saturday on the sidelines of a public hearing organised by the Church and Society arm of the Nkhoma Synod of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP).
Joseph Njobvuyalema, member of Parliament (MP) for Lilongwe Mapuyu South constituency where the health centre is situated, decried the withdrawal of the resident ambulance in 2006 which used to serve other health centres, namely Nthondo, M’bang’ombe and Ndaula.
Said Njobvuyalema: “People die of curable ailments here because the ambulance was posted to Chileka Health Centre almost a decade ago. I attempted to have it returned, but was told that it was withdrawn due to security concerns.”
He said he personally constructed a garage and employed a security guard, but all that was in vain. When there is a critically ill patient needing urgent specialist attention at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), the community is told either the ambulance has no fuel or it is on other administrative errands elsewhere.”
In her response, EdythMwanyongo, who represented the district health officer (DHO), said the ambulance was withdrawn from Ming’ongo to Chileka Health Centre because it is centrally located.
Said Mwanyongo: “We felt the vehicle would serve the area better from Chileka as it is centrally located, but as for the other issues I need to consult to provide adequate responses.”
Ming’onga Health Centre serves a population of about 141 000.