The health sector in the country is faced with many challenges, including the ones well-wishers noted at Lizulu Health Centre in Ntcheu and at St Peter’s Hospital and St Mary’s Health Centre in Likoma District.
This was revealed on Friday during Nation Publications Limited (NPL) Mother’s Fun Run (MFR) Sleepover Challenge where Lilongwe Rotary Club members spent a night at Lizulu Health Centre while Standard Bank chief financial officer Temwani Simwaka had her experience at St Peter’s Hospital on Likoma Island.
One of the sleepover challengers at Lizulu Health Centre, Milca Kalyati, said there are good developments at the health centre, but more needs to be done to avert challenges facing the maternity section.
“From most health centres that I have been to, this is one of the best so far. What the maternity facility is lacking most is the appropriate medicine needed when a woman is in the stages of labour.
“This hospital has electricity but patients in the post-natal ward are sleeping in the dark because of mere light bulbs, which are not available. Also if maintenance is to be a priority, all those beds just lying around will be put to good use,” she said.
Located between Dedza and Ntcheu district hospitals, most of Lizulu Health Centre’s referrals go to Dedza than Ntcheu due to transport challenges.
“We have no ambulance, which makes it hard for us to send referrals to Ntcheu District Hospital which is a bit far compared to Dedza for most patients because they have to hire transport on their own,” said maternity ward nurse in charge Juliet Nyirenda.
The Rotarians have also learnt that Lizulu Health Centre does not have a working autoclave machine; hence equipment requiring to be sterilised has to be sent to Ntcheu District Hospital, or they have to use charcoal to boil and sterilise the equipment.
Maliam Mdoko, who was part of the visiting team at Lizulu, said their aim is to help women, especially mothers who believe in giving birth at the hospital, to have that pride and honour of receiving the best treatment with the equipment to be provided through initiatives such as MFR.
At St Peter’s Hospital, run by the Anglican Church, Simwaka noted that the health facility’s challenges include lack of ultra sound machines, oxygen concentrators, theatre equipment and sterilisers.
On her visit, she was welcomed by the hospital’s nursing and midwife technician Desire Mphanga, who narrated the challenges of the hospital, which is a hub for over 14 000 people.
Simwaka later proceeded to St Mary’s Health Centre on Chizumulu Island where, she also had a glimpse of what is required for the facility to ably serve the people.
This year, the MFR initiative goes to Ntcheu and Likoma districts and it seeks to raise about K300 million for buying equipment to improve safe motherhood in the district hospitals and their satellite centres.