Community members around Mlare health centre can now afford a smile following the reopening of the health facility that was closed in December last year due to poor sanitation at the facility.
The consensus to have the facility reopened was reached at a meeting Mlare health centre management committee members held at Mlare with traditional leaders, council officials, Karonga district health officer (DHO) and Member of Parliament for the area Frank Mwenifumbo on Saturday afternoon.
The meeting followed a series of invitation letters that HMCM chairperson Vyanangika Mkwala has been writing the two offices to summon them for a meeting to find a long lasting solution for the leaking and bats infested health centre which stopped its services on December 20 last year.
Speaking after a tour of the stinking and closed health centre, senior group village headman Mwakawanga said all traditional leaders and HMCM members were greatly concerned with the closure as community members have to endure long distances.
“As leaders, we have agreed to offer Mlare Craft Centre building to temporarily be used as health facility so as to ease the situation while we are waiting for maintenance and rehabilitation works at the health centre,” Mwakawanga said.
Speaking on behalf of the district commissioner Richard Hara, acting director of planning and development Isaak Mkandawire said his office is concerned with the closure of the facility as people are struggling to cover long distances to seek medical attention elsewhere.
He however assured chiefs and HMCM members that the council is working around the clock to rehabilitate the buildings and currently it is putting resources together to have the health centre rehabilitated.
“The project requires over K8-million and right now we are to sit down with our Councillors to bang our heads together to see where we can draw that money from. We are aware that the community has already done its 25 percent contributions of building material, hence we will expedite the process,” Mkandawire said.
Member of Parliament for Karonga Central Constituency Frank Mwenifumbo hailed the meeting, saying the decision reached was of great benefit to his constituents more especially women who he said are always affected when people fall sick.
“I am glad that a building has been identified for temporary shelter. Health service delivery is not supposed to be compromised because they are issues that deal with peoples,” Mwenifumbo said.
The closure affected about 18, 500 people from 10 villages.