Lack of guardian shelter worries Machinga community

Communities around Mangamba Health Centre in Traditional Authority (T/A) Liwonde in Machinga have complained about lack of a guardian shelter at the health centre.

But Machinga District Health Office says it is doing everything possible to address the problem.

Guardians use the shelter under the tree for rest and preparation of meals for patients

During a visit to the facility by The Nation, guardians were seen camping under a tree while others chased birds and dogs which invaded their food.

Group village head (GVH) Maluma said the situation becomes worse during the rainy season.

“Flour gets soaked in water and the rains put off fire. Sometimes, members of staff assist by keeping our foodstuff in the maternity ward. Guardians hide on the veranda of staff  houses when it rains, which is inconveniencing to the owners,” he said.

The chief said they are ready to mould bricks and provide sand if someone can come to their rescue.

National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust Southern Region civic education officer Enock Chinkhuntha, whose organisation has been implementing a Deliver a Life project in the area, described the situation as pathetic and unfair.

“Poor facilities in most health centres violate guardians’ rights in terms of safety and privacy,” he said.

Machinga District Health Office spokesperson Clifton Ngozo acknowledged the problem which he said his office has been trying to solve since 2016.

“We lobbied an organisation to assist us but things did not work out. But now, another organisation has promised to help,” he said. n

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