Communities of group village headman Maleta in the area of Traditional Authority Katuli in Mangochi district have pleaded with Ministry of health to open Maleta health centre which was constructed in 1998.

Speaking to journalists after touring the centre chairperson of village development committee VDC Kalimu Ayami Allie said government is infringing their rights as people in the area are losing lives due to lack of quality health services.

Allie said the villagers had made some attempt to conduct demonstrations in order to voice out their concern but ward councilor discouraged them and advised the communities to send a letter to the district commissioner for their grievances to be addressed.

According to Allie “the district commissioner and the district health officer visited the health centre in April 2017 and they assured the communities that the facility will be opened in the next two months but to no avail.”

He said people in the area face critical challenges when accessing health services such pregnant women walking 47 kilometres to Katuli Health centre.

“It is very worrisome that 15 children died on their way to Katuli health centre in 2017 alone,” disclosed Allie.

Commenting on the same, Haula Imran from Nkasanjira village said the delay in opening Maleta health centre resulted into the death of her sister who was pregnant this year.

Imran said “when my sister started experiencing symptoms of labour she went to Ngapani private clinic which referred her to Katuli health centre due to shortage of blood in her body.”

However, doctors at Katuli health centre referred her to Mangochi district hospital but she died on her way.

Sausyedye Kuswedye also lost her 2 year and 8 months child in August this year due to Malaria on her way to Mangochi district hospital as advised by Ngapani private clinic as she got the money for transport very late.

Reacting to the development, ward Councillor Omar Magombo said he had been pleading with the district health officer to open Maleta health centre.

Magombo who was the former chairperson of Mangochi district council said “the council has sourced 12.5 million kwacha from ICIEDA for renovation of the facility.”

District commissioner Mosses Chimphepo acknowledged the challenge saying the council is doing everything possible to find health personnel who will work at the centre.

Speaking in a separate interview Mangochi district health officer Dr Henry Chibowa junior said once the facility is refurbished it will open for public use.