Another day. Another month. Another year. For communities around Mganja Health Center in Traditional Authority Kachindamoto in Dedza, the clock is ticking but their wait for improved access to maternal and neonatal healthcare is not yet over.
Bernard Chokotho from Group Village Headman Mganja says the facility lacks equipment and has poor infrastructure.
“The facility is very small as it was built to only cater for maternity services and now it does not have a guardian shelter and stand-alone maternity wing,” Chokotho, who is Chairperson for Golomoti Bwalo says.
He says pregnant women who come for delivery care at the facility are often exposed to serious privacy challenges.
“The Out Patient Department (OPD) is attached to the maternity wing therefore OPD patients sit on the veranda when a pregnant woman is in labour ward.
“The labour ward is adjacent to the room which is used as a pharmacy and OPD patients are able to see and hear whatever is going on in the labor ward,” he clarifies.
Chokotho also says women who have just delivered a baby stay together with guardians in postnatal ward which takes away their privacy.
He says the facility requires infrastructure upgrade especially construction of a separate maternity wing and other critical infrastructure to ensure quality service delivery as well as privacy.
The chairperson says members of the community with guidance from the Golomoti Bwalo and Radio Listeners Clubs molded bricks for the planned projects.
He says that Member of Parliament for the area has promised to construct a separate maternity wing by the end of 2018.
Chokotho however appeals to government and well-wishers to help to improve infrastructure at the facility to make it a community or rural hospital.