By Faith Kamtambe:
Dressed as Father Christmas, Vice- President (VP), Saulos Chilima, cheered the sick Wednesday at Nkhoma Nkhoma CCAP Mission Hospital in Lilongwe.
Accompanied by his wife Mary, Chilima gave Christmas hampers to patients in the female, male and children’s wards.
Nkhoma Synod General Secretary Vasco Kachipapa, who welcomed the VP, said it was an honour to have such ‘an important person’ visit the hospital.
“You have been the second important person to come after the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda visited the place. There are a lot of hospitals in the country but it is a blessing that you decided to come here. It is the best Christmas gift that we have received,” he said.
Kachipapa also outlined some challenges which the hospital and Christian Health Association of Malawi facilities face, including shortage of health personnel and their not being promoted.
“We have a shortage of nurses as the government froze the recruitment of nurses and doctors in 2016. From that time, the services that we are offering here have also increased and one or two nurses are attending to several people. This is a challenge,” he said.
Kachipapa then gave Chilima a bible as a present.
On his part, Chilima promised to address the challenges which the health facilities face if elected as the country’s President.
“I just wanted to come and cheer the patients and wish them well and share a little something. Money has to be put into good use and make sure that people working in hospitals are adequately compensated,” he said.
In the children’s ward, Chilima requested for information of a baby with a condition known as Cysic Hyroma. Doctors said her condition cannot be treated in Malawi.
After cheering the sick at the hospital, Chilima and his wife stopped over at Kamphata Trading Centre where he ate roosted maize which he bought from vendors.
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