Anne Mtenje, councillor of Nziza Ward in Kasungu South East Constituency has appealed to government and other players in the health sector to help address sanitation and hygiene problems at Bua Health Centre.
The centre is operating without ideal and recommended sanitation and hygiene facilities thereby putting lives of expectant women, guardians and their expected children at risk.
Speaking during an awareness campaign National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust organised, Mtenje said expectant women are at risk for accessing services at a facility that lacks basic sanitation and hygiene facilities such as bathrooms.
She said: “My efforts to initiate improvements at this facility have yielded no result as the council says it does not have funding. I appeal to government and its development partners to assist us.”
Bernadetta Kanzuli, a 32-year-old mother from group village head (GVH) Chitseko in Traditional Authority (T/A) Njombwa, questioned government’s commitment to promote safe motherhood when it is failing to construct facilities such as bathrooms.
Kasungu District Health Office (DHO) safe motherhood coordinator Phoeby Lodzeni, acknowledged that implications on health are severe where facilities are operating without necessary sanitation and hygiene facilities.
But Lodzeni was quick to challenge people in Kasungu to devise innovative mechanisms that can help address the challenges.
Kasungu Nice district civic education officer Gerald Chirwa said healthcare requires commitment from partners in health and environment sectors.
Nice is implementing a water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash) in maternal and neonatal health Project with financial support from Water Aid to promote the inclusion of sanitation and hygiene in safe motherhood initiatives in selected health centres in Kasungu. n