The inhabitants of Traditional Authority (T/A) Chikho in Ntchisi have had their hopes dashed for closer access to healthcare services after the authorities at the Capital Hill decided to halt building work at Chafumbwa Rural Hospital. The project was shelved in 2013, sabotaging what could have been a stunning and useful health facility. Since 2019, Chafumbwa Mother Care Group (MCG) has taken action, requesting that various duty-bearers assist in the commencement of building work at the institution.
Currently, the site has damaged dwellings built just above window level and hidden among the shrubs. The abandoned structures include the out-patient department building, maternity wing, guardians shelter, five staff quarters, theatre, pharmacy, and mortuary.
Chafumbwa Rural Hospital Project Hault Consequences for Residents
Community people are allegedly travelling 20 kilometres to Nzandu Health Center to seek medical aid amid this devastation. Chafumbwa MCG secretary Zelita Misi stressed the need for authorities to resume work at the facility at an interaction meeting with Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) and Ntchisi Evangelical Churches Consortium for Social Services (NECCOSS). The Chafumbwa MCG, which has been empowered by the Health Systems Strengthening Program (HSSP), appears to be running a makeshift outreach clinic where, with the help of a Health Surveillance Assistant (HSA), they are simply administering vaccines to children, immunizing them against tuberculosis, polio, and measles, among other diseases. Nurses and other medical staff from Nzandu Health Center, which is 20 kilometres distant, visit the outreach clinic every now and then to give other treatments, including prenatal and postnatal, psychiatric, and HIV/AIDS testing and counselling, according to Misi.
HSSP is a multi-player project financed by GAVI and implemented by the Ministry of Health. The initiative, which is being conducted in Ntchisi and eight other districts, aims to introduce and train MCGs as advocates for enhanced health services and tools for raising child vaccination coverage. MHEN and NECCOSS play the roles of demand generation, community mobilization, and local implementing agents, respectively, resulting in the capacity building and empowerment of MCGs in Ntchisi to carry out their responsibilities.
Misi stated that their organization would not give up until the Chafumbwa Rural Hospital is completed and running. Misi stated that Chafumbwa MCG has already contributed to the construction of two HSA homes and 16 communal toilets in the region, utilizing funds from the group’s village bank. She went on to say that they had also pushed their councillor, who had assisted them with a portion of the Constituency Development Fund, to help them purchase some cement and iron sheets. They simply required glass windows and solar electricity at this point. Misi went on to say that the goal was to make HSAs’ life and job easier. Aside from that, they generally have housing issues since they live in unappealing grass thatched huts.