Chiefs in Karonga demand health centre

People living at Mpata in Traditional Authority Kyungu in Karonga district have demanded a health centre, saying K190 million was allocated for the facility in the budget in 2012 but government did not construct the health centre.

The K190 million meant for the construction of the health center was allocated due to the bad shape of the current health centre but up to date nothing happened.

CHRR’s Kaiyatsa (L) and chiefs from Kkaronga

Speaking with reporters, Principal Group Village Headman Kalambo said that during People’s Party (PP) regime in 2012 contractors came in the area and only lay a foundation for the building but never completed the building which angered people and chiefs in the community to go seek clarification from district council who claimed that they did not know about the project.

According to the chief, the current health centre is dilapidated and has a leaking roof. The health centre is 70 Kilometers away from the district hospital and has six beds only despite providing services to more than 40,000 of people.

“We are facing a lot of problems. Our women are falling access health services during delivery, a situation which has led to many women seeking services at traditional doctors who also advise them to go back to hospital where they are told a pay fine of K10,000 before being assisted.

“As for people who are living with HIV and AIDS, they receive their medication at an open place because the building is small and in bad condition. As you aware that business have now gone down due to Covid-19 and we are poor people who cannot afford to access medical services at our district hospital due to lack money for transport,” he said.

He added that they tried to talk their Member of Parliament – James Bond Kamwambi of Karonga North West Constituency – but he never presented the matter in parliament up to date.

GVH Kalambo said they have therefore petitioned the Attorney General and have demanded a response in 90 days.

In the petition, they are demanding the Attorney General to do a follow up on the issue and bring forward people who are involved in the abuse of the funds failure of which they will open a court case.

In remarks, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Acting Executive Director Michael Kaiyatsa said that the matter is clear case of government abandoning its people and lack of accountability as the Constitution says that government has to be accountable because it holds the power on behalf of people and in accordance with the will of people.

Kaiyatsa said as human rights organisation they want people to exercise their rights and have access to information regarding what happened to the funds so that they can demand justice.

In an interview with Malawi24, White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) Executive Director Hester Mkwinda Nyasulu said government needs to invest more to ensure that labour wards provide the privacy to the pregnant women.

“WRA Malawi will continue to work with the Civil Society Organisations and community groups to ensure that the advocate with the duty bearers to ensure that the facilities provide a conducive environment for childbirth,” he explained.

Recently, government through the ministry of health pledged to end maternal deaths by ensuring that women are getting proper medical services on time at a short distance.

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