By judgement katika- Correspondent
In trying to improve health service delivery to rural masses and health service providers in those areas, ministry of Health with partners has embarked on solar power project to electrify health centres in hard to reach areas.
Speaking at the Official handover of the Solar Systems Installed in 20 facilities at a function held at Chiwoza Health centre in Lilongwe deputy minister of Health Enock Phale said the ministry is working hard with stakeholders in the sector to bridge the gap.
He said the handing over of the Solar system to 20 health centres across the country by United Nations Children Fund- UNICEF with support from Gavi is a milestone to achieving the aspiration of improved health systems even in hard to reach areas.
“The Ministry will continue this program to ensure that all health facilities especially health posts have uninterruptible, sustainable and clean electricity supply that can support medical equipment such as fridges which are a must have in as far as vaccine storage is concerned. Availability of electricity will lead to the effectively delivery of health services in these areas especially storage of vaccines.” Phale said
The deputy minister added that it is the desire of the ministry to also ensure easy access to health services and achieve equitable access to basic health care there by reiterating the ministry’s commitment to recruit additional health care workers and construct about 900 health posts across the country.
“As we are all aware, 84% of the population in Malawi lives in rural areas and 24% does not live within eight kilometers of a health facility. It is the desire of the Government of Malawi, using every available opportunity, and through the Ministry of Health, to ensure equitable access to basic health services amongst all Malawians.” He said.
Through funding from Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF is supporting the
Government with the installation of solar power energy systems in 20 health
facilities in remote parts of Malawi to improve health service delivery according to UNICEF deputy representative Gerrit Maritz.
“This year, we all saw Tropical Storm Ana’s impact on healthcare delivery. Many facilities had no electricity for several days, these new solar power energy systems will help prevent such scenarios and allow continuous functioning of services at the health facilities even in natural calamities, such as floods.” Maritz said.
The health facilities which have benefited are from the districts of Mzimba, Kasungu, Ntchisi, Lilongwe,Mchinji, Balaka, Blantyre, Chikhwawa, Machinga, Nsanje.