Medical Help Costly for Chilengo People in Thyolo
At a time citizens are grappling with the current economic hardships in the country, a population of about 64, 000 locals in Traditional Authority Mphuka in Thyolo is spending over K10, 000 for transport to access medical help due to lack of a public health centre in the area.
Mphuka Area Development Committee Chairperson Andrew Willie, indicates since time in memorial, patients are enduring impassable roads to access free medical services.
They either have to go to Thyolo district hospital or Didi health centre in Chikwawa at a distance of around 13 and 14 kilometres away respectively.
"If there are problems in terms of medical care, it’s Chilengo area. Now with this fuel hike, patients are parting ways with over K10, 000 to pay motorcycles, the only mode of transport to go to Thyolo District Hospital or Didi health centre in Chikwawa for assistance," he said.
Thyolo DHO spokesperson Fanuel Makina, agrees that the situation is dire.
"This leading to complications on critically ill patients such as expectant women and children", calling on stakeholders to assist in constructing a maternity wing, wards and staff houses at the nearest Chilengo health post in the area.
"For someone to travel from Chilengo area to reach the nearest facility the road is impassable and hard to reach. The nearest facilities are paying institutions, so many just resort to have money and come here which is very far.
He appealed for urgent help: “So the well-wishers should assist us with infrastructure there which can accommodate our staff and these cases so that we can shorten the distance people are covering to access medical help", Makina said.
Parliamentarian for the area, Mary Navicha, says, she has started constructing two staff houses at the health post using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and identified a donor who would build a maternity wing to upgrade it into a health centre.
"So far with funding from CDF, we have just started constructing two staff semi-detached houses and these houses will be for a midwife and nurse. And very shortly, we will launch a maternity wing which has been donated by a particular donor i will not disclose his name now.
"So shortly, these challenges of our people accessing medical services to Thyolo District Hospital will be a history," she assured.
The nearest Malamulo Mission and Ntambanyama hospitals are also paying institutions.
However, this is happening against the recommended distance people are supposed to cover to a nearby facility of five to 10 kilometres.