The long awaited Phalombe District Hospital will be ready in 18 months time according to Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume
Kumpalume was speaking in Phalombe on Tuesday when President Peter Mutharika laid a foundation stone at the construction site of the hospital.
The $22 million district hospital funded by the Malawi Government, Arab Bank for Africa Development (Badea) and Saudi Fund for Development is being constructed by a Kuwaiti contractor.
Kumpalume said his ministry was keen to ensure the project does not miss its deadline.
“To the contractor, let me warn you that this minister does not take delays kindly. Every three months I will be here to monitor construction progress,” he said.
For about 16 years now, the issue of the district hospital has remained thorny with different politicians turning it into a political campaign tool.
People have been asking for government to clarify on allocations in the national budget since 2005 towards the project.
Due to unavailability of a district hospital, government struck a service level agreement with Holy Family Mission Hospital, owned by the Catholic Church, where most cases in the district are referred to and reports indicate that government pays the private hospital around K6 million monthly for its services.
In his remarks, the Mutharika said his government has two major tasks; to make Malawi a well educated and healthy nation.
He also said soon government will embark on a district hospital construction project in Blantyre.
During the day, Mutharika also opened Phalombe Teacher’s Training College (TCC).
Speaking at the TTC , he said his government is committed to reducing pupil-teacher ratio from the current 1:73 to 1:60.