By Patience Lunda:
Community members have bemoaned the continued closure of Sonda Clinic in Mzuzu City, saying the development is leading to unnecessary deaths as patients cover a long distance to get to the nearest health facility.
Due to the closure of the facility, pregnant women who cannot cover a long distance are screened inside a school hall.
The clinic was closed to accommodate electrical engineering students at Sonda Technical and Vocational Institute. The institute is run under the Community Technical College in Malawi Programme, which seeks to equip youths with skills in electrical installation and electronics, tailoring, fashion design and brick laying.
Group Village Head Belewa Chiumia said his subjects were struggling to access healthcare services.
“After the clinic was closed in 2017, people have been struggling to access medical services because they either have to cover a long distance to get to the nearest health facility or they have to be screened in structures not meant for patients’ care. I am talking about a school hall.
“I fear for the lives of under-five children, expectant mothers and the youth. In as much as education is important, everything hinges on good health,” he said.
Mchengautuwa Ward Transparency and Accountability Club member Raphael Kamkota concurred with the village head.
“Because other health facilities are located far away, people’s health-seeking behaviour has been negatively impacted,” he said.