The Embassy of Iceland has eased mobility challenges of health surveillance assistants (HSAs) through the provision of 570 push bicycles to Mangochi District Health Office (DHO).
This means that HSAs can now offer their services to communities in hard-to-reach areas.
Speaking on Tuesday at Makoli Village in Senior Chief Chowe’s area during the handover of the bicycles, Ministry of Health Principal Secretary Charles Mwansambo said the push bicycles will complement government’s efforts in the provision of healthcare services.
He said: “Government is doing all it can to improve health service delivery to all the people irrespective of where they stay. We call this universal health coverage.
“Now to receive a donation of this nature, which will ease the mobility of our health workers , it has boosted our efforts to achieve what we desire.”
Mwansambo said HSAs are the backbone of good health service delivery as they provide primary healthcare to the communities.
He decried the shortage of HSAs in the district, saying figures show that one HSA takes care of 2 300 people instead of the recommended 1 000 people.
Mangochi District Council chairperson Matthews Scorch commended the Government of Iceland for the donation of bicycles.
He said the HSAs will not be able to rollout their activities in every corner of the district.
“We expect changes in the delivery of health services,” he said.
The Embassy of Iceland head of mission Inga Petursdottir said they will continue supporting the country’s health sector.
“We realise that Malawi faces many health challenges. Therefore, we decided to make this donation to address some of the problems,” she said.
The 570 bicycles are worth K50 million.