Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has said government has committed K13 billion for the construction of 55 health posts in various districts of the country as a matter of commitment to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Speaking in Lilongwe today during a press briefing Chiponda acknowledged that public health infrastructure remains one of her ministry’s priorities adding that they have so far invested resources in completing projects that had stalled for many years from previous administrations.
“We are starting the project on July 1, 2022. As we speak we got no objection from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA), and procurement processes have so far been completed and we have contractors ready. The whole project will cost K13 billion. K4 billion is from the Global Fund while K9 billion is from Treasury,” Chiponda said.
Some of the districts that will benefit from the said project include Neno, Mwanza, Phalombe, Thyolo, Balaka, Mangochi, Zomba, Chiradzulu, Lilongwe Salima, Dowa, Karonga, Likoma and Nkhata Bay.
She also disclosed that beginning September 2022 her Ministry will embark on the construction of eight health centres in Blantyre, Karonga, Chitipa, Rumphi and Dowa all to reduce the distances that people in rural areas cover to access health services.
At the Cancer Centre Chiponda said construction works remain in progress but said it is already providing other services to patients thereby saving government resources that would have been spent on outsourcing the services.
“Currently, the centre is providing chemotherapy services to patients and we are working on commissioning bunkers. Pre-qualification of the bunker contractor was done and the prospective contractor is expected on site in July 2022. We expect the bunkers to be completed by December 2022,” she said.
Apart from the construction of offices for the Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM) Chiponda said the Ministry of Health is also constructing Infectious Disease centres in Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre.
Commenting on the development Health Rights Activist Maziko Matemba described the development as timely saying Malawi’s health sector needs support to improve service delivery.