By Ernest Mfunya
Deputy Minister of Health, Enock Phale has commended Mangochi District Health Office for a rapid response to effects of Tropical Storm Ana which affected some parts of the district recently.
Phale made the remarks in Mangochi during a tour of Mangochi District Hospital and Malukula Health Centre to appreciate effects of the Tropical Storm Ana on the health sector in the district.
During the visit, Phale visited Mangochi District Hospital Pharmacy to check drug stocks and mortuary which is down due to cold room compressor damage before proceeding to Malukula Health Centre at Senior Chief Chowes area.
He said the damage was disheartening as eight health facilities have been affected, adding that this was a setback in the health system.
Phale said: “I am happy that the response has been good in medical emergency response here led by the director of health and social services with the leadership of the district council.”
He disclosed that the Ministry of Health is planning to recruit additional health workers to be deployed to rural health centres where many people fail to get medical assistance due to bad roads.
“Our development partners have confidence in the current administration and they have promised that shortly we shall be recruiting health workers and once the recruitment is done Mangochi will not be left behind,” he said.
Phale, therefore, called on Mangochi District Council to prioritize the affected facilities and assured people of Mangochi that government through the ministry will address other challenges which affected the delivery of health services.
In his remarks, Director of Health and Social Services (DHSS) for Mangochi, Dr. Henry Chibowa said the hospitals collective coordination with other partners including Family Planning Association of Malawi, Icelandic International Development Agency, Malawi Red Cross Society and Baylor is what helped the office to manage some of the challenges in a short period of time.
Chibowa said the district health office organized integrated outreach clinics that provided services the community requires such as Anti-Retroviral Therapy services, family planning services and antenatal services.
“What was critical for us was to establish outreach clinics and also to find alternative routes for cut off facilities referring patients to the district hospital,” Chibowa said.
Chibowa, therefore, asked government and other partners to continue supporting the DHO, saying there are some challenges which are yet to be addressed, citing the damaged mortuary cold room compressor as one of the critical areas.