Government needs around K22.8 billion to build additional 76 health centres to meet the required ratio of health centres to number of people, principal secretary for Health Dr Charles Mwansambo has said.
He said this on Wednesday when receiving a multi-million kwacha Chiwoza Health Centre that Korean International Cooperation Agency (Koica) funded through a local organisation called Good Neighbours.
Mwansambo said, “currently, we have around 606 health facilities in the country against the population of approximately 15 million. With a policy of establishing a health centre within a population of 10 000, we indeed need more than that.”
He said government has in the current health sector strategic plan of 2011 to 2016 planned to construct more than 76 health facilities and each facility costs between K200 million to K300 million, which government alone can struggle to finance.
Besides engaging Christian Health Association of Malawi (Cham) government also needs to engage the private sector such as Good Neighbours in building more health facilities.
Koica representative Byung-Sun Cho said Koica and Good Neighbours have allocated over K300 million in a three-year project called Improving medical services in Chiwoza community.
“The main programme within the project was the construction of a health centre of which was thought to be the long awaited dream of pregnant women and all mothers of this community who have been walking long distances to access health care for a long time since, God knows how many years, with an expense of $ 160 337,” he said. n