Maternity Wing Stays Idle for a Year in Neno
A modern maternity wing at Ligowe heath center in Neno district is staying idle for over a year now without being operational due to lack of equipment, a guardian shelter, maternity waiting room and a maternal surgical theatre.
The revelation came yesterday Monday noon when Chief Director for Presidential Initiative on Maternal Heath and Safe Motherhood Ethel Kapyepye visited the facility to appreciate its challenges where she promised to equip the facility with equipment that are in good condition but are just staying in other hospitals including Neno district hospital.
"Women are accessing maternity and newborns services many kilometers away while we have this facility, that is risking lives of our mothers as they reach nearest hospitals using uncomfortable means like motorcycles on bad roads, that's a setback to self-motherhood initiatives," she said.
Kapyepye then advised Neno district council to support the establishment of a fully operational maternity facility using the decentralization policy so that the wing gets operating by end of this year.
“Our council under the department of planning should engage funds like the Local Development Fund, District Development Fund and Constituency Development Fund to construct the waiting room, surgical theatre and provide other materials needed to have this wing operate," cautioned Kapyepye.
Member of Parliament for Neno South constituency Mark Katsonga Phiri says he is engaging an American charity organization, MEDSHARE to supply equipment but there's is a need for a twenty thousand dollar administrative and shipping money.
"Am talking to this organization which provide for free medical equipment but there is a need to raise twenty-five thousand dollars for administrative and logistical arrangements, the equipment are many to suffice Neno health centers", he said.
Katsonga further cried out to government to fast track completion of the Neno district road, saying mothers are delivering on their way to the district hospital due to long distance as a result of the road condition.
Meanwhile Neno District Nursing Officer Anda Nyondo committed to provide nurses to the facility and some equipment that are not in use at Neno DHO so that mother's do not travel over thirteen kilometers to access maternal health care at either Neno DHO or Magaleta heath center.
The maternity wing was constructed by Partners In Heath as a donation to Malawi government.
Ligowe Heath Center serves a population of fifteen thousand people and every year it refers two thousand mother's to either Neno district hospital or Magaleta heath center for deliveries and birth related operations, like surgeries.