Clad in her chitenje, white plastic shoes and green blouse, Liviness Jafali, dances and sings in praise of a new clinic in her village of Mbalika, Traditional Authority Mposa in Machinga.
No one could blame her for this. Her two-year-old baby, who was malnourished and unhealthy, now easily accesses medical treatment.
Previously, Jafali would walk a distance of eight kilometres to access health care for her child at Mposa Community Hospital. This is all in the past, thanks to World Vision which opened the clinic that has brought relief to women and children living in the area.
“We used to wake up very early in the morning to take our children to for under-five clinic services. As such, there would be many patients at the hospital in the morning, resulting in congestion and hurried medical attention,” Jafali says.
She says the village clinic has opened the door to quick and quality medical services.
“The clinic has made it possible for us to visit the doctor the moment our children fall sick. We are also being provided with understanding and caring health advisers whom we are always open to talk to about our health problems,” she says, her face beaming with excitement.
World Vision provides the clinic with zinc, vaccines, weighing scales, Thanzi ORS and other medical drugs and equipment to facilitate the provision of better medical health.
The organisation also provided the clinic with bicycles which are used to transport vaccines and other medical equipment from the main hospital.
At the clinic, women are also taught family planning methods and provided with contraceptives of their choice.
On top of the equipment, World Vision specialists trained some health assistants to complement government health surveillance assistants in providing care to the women and children.
Mbalika Clinic health surveillance assistant White Chikusilo says the village clinic has brought a positive impact on maternal as well as child health and easy access to medical attention.
“Before this clinic, children died and others would reach the hospital in critical condition which made it difficult for doctors to cure the diseases. With this clinic, we have managed to improve the health of children and save the lives of children who might have died due to delayed medical attention,” he says.
Chikusilo adds that cases of malnutrition and deficiency diseases in the area have been reduced since children now receive medical care regularly.
“The long distance to Mposa Health Centre also resulted in parents taking their children to hospital once in a while, which was unhealthy because children require regular medical care,” disclosed White.