Mangochi District Health Office (DHO) says the fire that burnt down the integrated maternal and child health block at the 380-bed Mangochi District Hospital on Sunday damaged properties estimated at K330 million.
Briefing Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who visited the facility yesterday to appreciate the damage, district health officer Henry Chibowa (Junior) attributed the fire to an electrical fault.
In his reaction, Chilima, who is also Minister responsible for Disaster Management Affairs, said he was saddened with the spate of accidents in the country, more especially those which are preventable or are induced by human beings.
He said: “I know we have different types of accidents and they are inevitable, but there are some which we can avoid. Therefore, much as we cannot control the inevitable ones, let us control those accidents we can avoid.
“Just imagine, on Monday I was in Nkhotakota, yesterday I was in Karonga visiting our friends who are in despicable circumstances due to floods. And today, I am here witnessing another episode of fire. These speak volume that we need to take precautionary measures where we can afford.”
The Vice-President pledged government’s commitment to assist the hospital to recover from the loss. He also appealed to companies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in Mangochi to create a charity basket to support the health facility as part of corporate social responsibility.
During the Vice-President’s visit, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) donated mattresses, plastic pails, blankets and bags of rice to ease the situation.