Ministry of Health (MoH) has lamented that the damage heavy rains have caused to the new National Cancer Centre in Lilongwe on Monday have affected its plans to bring patients into the facility.
Heavy rain and wind hit the city from around 3pm and lasted for over four hours, killing two people and injuring 24 besides destroying properties and affecting office operations.
MoH Principal Secretary Dan Namarika said in an interview yesterday the ministry planned to start seeing patients in the $13 million (about K10 billion) facility this week.
He said: “This week, we should have started bringing cancer children into the facility but we cannot with what has happened. We suspect the quality of work to be the reason but since we are still within the warranty period, we are not worried.”
According to government contractual procedures, a contractor is supposed to give a warranty of not less than one year and Namarika says this period has not yet started since the facility has not been handed over to the ministry.
When contacted, Malawi Institute of Engineers (MIE) president Wilson Chirwa asked for photographs of the facility before commenting on the quality of work done.
A visit to the facility yesterday showed that the roof was blown off on much of the block.
Following the hailstorm, Lilongwe Deputy Police spokesperson Richard Mvula confirmed death of two people Kazembe Saidi, 41, from Chiwale Village and Hassan Kampalira, 25, from Lipondo Village, in Traditional Authority Makanjira in Mangochi.
Kamuzu Central Hospital spokesperson Chiyanjano Kazombo said 24 people were brought to the facility with various injuries, adding that some were treated as outpatients while others were admitted.
This afternoon, the Lilongwe City Council is expected to give a detailed report on the extent of the damage and how it has responded to disasters that have hit the city.