Luchenza Municipal Council (LMC) has applauded the US Peace Corps Response Volunteers (PCRV) for supporting government efforts aimed to improve the living standards among rural communities in Malawi.
PCRV and LMC have entered into agreement where the former seeks to contribute to the healthcare sector by advancing healthcare information standards that are complete and testable by providing the necessary conformance tests, tests tools and techniques where appropriate.
And to set the ball rolling, PCRV recently donated five computers valued at K1.7 million (about $4 250) to the municipality, which were distributed among Chonde Community Hospital, Mangunda and Nkalo Health Centres in Thyolo and Chiradzulu, respectively to enable the facilities to deal with the problems of data collection and storage.
LMC monitoring and evaluation officer John Maneya thanked the volunteers, saying they are contributing to the council’s dreams of addressing the social and economic challenges facing rural communities through provision of human and technical resources.
He said the computers have been a source of inspiration and motivation to healthcare workers and statistical officers in the benefiting health facilities.
“It has become a household issue nowadays and health facilities do not need to be spared. The demand for online medical information and simplified, standardised methods to access healthcare information and services is crucial in making healthcare safe and available to all,” said Maneya.
He said the computers have enabled the municipality to analyse health and demographic data at the village level thereby creating abilities to target services for specific villages or areas.
“Reporting data from the village level of operation permits the council to target communities of highest risk and concern for intervention. An ‘on the ground approach’ allows and encourages the involvement of village heads and other village committees for improved health education at the most local level,” Maneya emphasised.
He, however, decried lack of electricity at Nkalo Health Centre where the computer is still idle as the clinic has no source of power.
Chonde Community Hospital acting in-charge Caroline Tchete-Mungomo said besides easing their workload, the donated computer has saved them financial resources the facility used to spend on papers.
Meanwhile, volunteer Jack Durret is working towards resolving the problem.
In his remarks, Durret explained that his organisation will meet all the power connection expenses and is expecting that the health centre should be connected ‘in the soonest time possible’.