Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Samson Ndolo, has expressed concern that people across the country travel long distances to access health services, a situation he described as worrisome in the provision of quality healthcare.
Ndolo made the remarks in Balaka on Thursday after touring construction works at Balaka District Hospital and Chiyendausiku Health Centre as part of a joint supervisory visit of the refurbishment and rehabilitation of health facilities.
Construction works at Balaka District Hospital and refurbishment and rehabilitation of health facilities is a project implemented by the National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC) Governance to Enable Service Delivery (GESD) project.
Ndolo said maternal service is the most important area in health care and it is unfortunate that some hospitals in the country do not have such facilities.
“It is because of this background that Government, through NLGFC, is renovating as well as constructing stand-alone maternity wings in some heath centres in the country to change the situation.
“Work is on track and will finish on time. Let me commend the Council for the commendable supervisory work they have are doing which has necessitated the smooth flow of the project,” said Ndolo.
He, therefore, called upon community leaders and their subjects to guard against theft of construction material on site and always work hand in hand with the Council in the supervisory role saying this is their development.
District Commissioner for Balaka, Tamanya Harawa, said under the infrastructure fund, Balaka was implementing three projects namely; rehabilitating Balaka Out Patient Department (OPD), construction of a maternity wing at Chiyendausiku Health Centre as well as refurbishment of Balaka District Hospital.
“Health indicators show that we are not doing well in safe motherhood; we do not have adequate maternity wings. Projects like these will help alleviate some of the challenges in the health sector,” he said.
Harawa, therefore, appealed to community leaders to be vigilant in making sure that contractors produce durable structures, discourage theft of construction material and always report to the Council should theft or misappropriation of material at project sites occur.
Construction works at all the sites is expected to finish by March, 2024.