Lack of guardian shelters in several health centres in the country has not spared Mangamba Health Centre in Machinga where guardians are forced to sleep under trees.
According to Hospital Administrator for Machinga District Hospital, Chopi Malidadi, Mangamba Health Centre was opened in 2002 while the maternity wing was opened in 2010. The health centre caters for 23,843 patients per month.
He said the Ministry of Health has been planning to construct a guardian shelter but failed to do so due to financial constraints.
One of the locals, Esnat Kosta of Liwonde Village, said while they are waiting for the nurse to invite them into the labour ward they sleep under the tree.
She said there were 25 expectant women at the facility but 20 returned to their homes because of lack of accommodation and food.
“We don’t know what our MP[Member of Parliament] is doing about it, we have had many MPs here but no one cares about our welfare, for example we were 25 of us, but 20 returned to their homes before being treated, only five of us are remaining,” Kosta said.
Speaking in a separate interview Councillor for Mbonekera Ward, Simplex Mmora, said he wants to liaise with Member of parliament for the area, Shaibu Kaliyati, to set up a facility.
“I have been willing to meet him[ MP, Kaliyati] to find our way forward either by using the Local Development Fund (LDF) and Constituency Development Fund CDF) but we have not met,” Mmora said.
Speaking in a separate interview, Senior Group Village Headmen Mangamba and Mtembo said the absence of the MP is stalling development projects in the area.
The traditional leaders appealed for a healthy working relationship among the community, the MP, councillor, Area Development Committee (ADC) and Village Development Committee (VDC) for the sake of development.
“What surprises us is that since our MP was voted into power, he has never met us personally, we hear he resides in Blantyre,” Mangamba.
In response, Kaliyati said although he has been asking for funding in order to construct the facility and some related developmental activities nothing has materialised.
“It is not easy to do things at once, just imagine I have been pushing for funding in my constituency but things have not moved,” Kaliyati said.
But Machinga district administrator encouraged locals to initiate some development projects for example moulding bricks so that well-wishers can complement the efforts.
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