Progress in the construction works for the long-awaited Phalombe District Hospital is now at 60 percent, Minister of Health and Population Jappie Mhango has said.
Speaking after touring the hospital on Friday, the minister expressed satisfaction with the progress of the work, adding that the project is set for completion by March next year.
Mhango said once completed, people from Phalombe will have a chance to access medical care closer, thereby saving money spent for referrals to other health facilities such as Zomba Central Hospital.
“I am happy that progress is steady. We have asked the contractor to ensure the project is completed on time to avoid project cost overages,” he said.
Mhango said due to some challenges, government and the contractor had to shift the deadline from September this year to March 2020.
Some of the completed works include roofing of staff houses and final touches on other hospital buildings.
Phalombe District Health Office (DHO) reportedly spends over K19 million per month to refer patients to Holy Family Mission Hospital, a Christian Health Association of Malawi (Cham) hospital, according to DHO Ketwell Kondowe.
The project is jointly funded by Malawi Government, which contributed about $5 million (about K3.6 billion), Arab Bank for African Development (Badea) which put in $7 million (K5.1 billion) and Saudi Fund for Development contributing $12 million (K9.2 billion).
Phalombe District has a population of over 393 000 people, according to the National Statistical Office.