The Lilongwe Urban Poor People’s Network (Luppen) has asked government to open three non-functioning clinics within the city, saying some people walk long distances to access medical services at Kamuzu Central and Bwaila hospitals.
In an interview on the sidelines of a consultative meeting with Lilongwe City Council officials on Friday, Luppen coordinator Harry Mamba said while Plan International and Unicef sponsored construction of clinics at Mtsiriza and Chinsapo townships more than 10 years ago, respectively, government has not yet deployed staff to the facilities.
“We have been following up on this issue for many years but nothing is happening. There are no nurses and clinicians to work at these clinics. When poor people are sick at night, they are spending up to K4 000 just to hire a taxi to take them to Bwaila Hospital.
“The urban poor are greatly affected by the non-functioning of these clinics,” said Mamba. He said another clinic which has not been operating is at Biwi Township.
Lilongwe City Council acting city development strategy manager Gift Kasamira said the council has so far sourced funding from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica) to rehabilitate and open Biwi Clinic.
“The sole reason for not rehabilitating and opening the clinics is financial problem. We have written several proposals to donors to help us. These clinics are in the hands of the council and not Ministry of Health.
“We have another clinic at Lilongwe Town Hall which is working. We have employed two nurses there,” said Kasamira.