Japan has given the Lilongwe City Council (LCC) a K62.9 million (about $190 606) grant to construct a new medical clinic in Biwi Township in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.
Japanese Ambassador Fujio Samukawa, speaking in Lilongwe during the grant signing ceremony recently, said construction of the health facility will begin early this year.
Samukawa said his government was compelled to assist because the population of Lilongwe is growing at a faster pace.
“There is overcrowding at Kamuzu Central Hospital due to high demand for health services delivery. The Lilongwe City lacks health facilities due to the rapid growth of population and when the assembly asked for assistance, we decided to assist,” he said.
Samukawa said Japan will help to improve public health and medical services in the country because inadequate health facilities hinder development of any country.
Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Augustine Mtendere said the new clinic will help more people because it will be on a confluence of nearby townships such as Kaliyeka, Area 22, 24, 36, Mchesi and Kawale.
“In these areas, people face inadequate health services due to rapid population growth. Pregnant women and children are forced to walk to Kamuzu Central and Bwaila hospitals which are a long distance,” he said.
Acting chief executive officer for LCC, Vitto Mulula, said the provision of health services, particularly maternal and child health services, is hampered by inadequate infrastructure, among other things.
“The problem of providing health services is common in the Traditional Housing Areas (THAs) and the unplanned settlements where almost 80 percent of the population lives,” said Mulula.
The clinic, among other things, will have a cooking shelter and a maternity wing for admissions.
It will provide basic health services such as outpatient department (OPD), delivery, antenatal, post-natal clinic, under-five clinic, HTC and ARV clinic.