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CCJP Improves Relationships between Health Workers and Communities

By Deodatus Muriya (Monitoring and Evaluation Desk Officer)

The Justice and Peace Desk of Karonga Diocese has contributed to the improvement of relationships between health workers and communities in Karonga and Chitipa through the Health Governance Project funded by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).

This was revealed during the Review and Planning meeting the Desk held at Viphya in Chilumba from 26th to 28th December, 2017. The meeting reviewed the progress made in the implementation of the ‘Promotion of High Quality, Accountable and Responsive Public Health Service Delivery’ project. The meeting also reviewed the Detailed Implementation Plan of the project.

The Justice and Peace Desk Officer, Mr Louis Nkhata, said he was impressed with the progress the project is making against the indicators as presented in the report from the Monitoring and Evaluation Desk. He further said that through capacity building of community structures, community awareness and engagement with duty bearers, the project has strengthened collaboration between health workers and people from the communities.

Mr Nkhata said that the main focus now would be to engage the Central Government to reveal the drug budget as allocated to different health facilities since drugs are purchased centrally from the Central Medical Stores and supplied directly to health facilities. He even district hospitals are not aware of the funds allocated them in terms of drugs and the quantity of drugs they are supposed to receive.

Picture of Louis Nkhata, Justice and Peace Desk Officer urging community members to speak out
Karonga CCJP Calls for the Provision of Essential Drugs and Medical Equipment to Sere Clinic

By Ephraim Nyirenda – TFM

The Justice and Peace Desk of Karonga Diocese has called on government to ensure that essential drugs and medical equipment are provided to Sere Clinic in Kayerekera to make it fully functional.

Speaking at an interface meeting held at Kayerekera, Justice and Peace Desk Officer for Karonga Diocese said communities in Kayerekera have a right to timely appropriate health care. This he said, entails availability of well supplied health facilities.

He further urged communities to use every means possible to engage duty bearers to fulfil their health rights.

“You need to utilize every means at your disposal to make your voices heard. You need to make noise through different platforms like media, panel discussion, interface meetings to make the duty bearers act on your plight.

During the meeting, community members of Kayerekera lamented that Sere Clinic is not functional months after it was handed over to Karonga District Council by Paladin Africa a part of corporate social responsibility. The facility was handed over without essential drugs, furniture and medical equipment

“We are struggling to get medical services for us and our children yet we have a health facility in our area. The nearest health facility is at Wiliro, fifteen kilometres away. Due to transport challenges in our area, we walk on foot to reach the facility which is also poorly stocked.” Said one community member.

She asked the government to equip Sere Clinic to be providing maternity and outpatient services to Kayerekera community to ease their challenges.

Speaking in solidarity with his subjects, Paramount Chief Kyungu expressed dissatisfaction with the clinic which was handed over without drugs, chairs and medical equipment.

“When I was invited to grace the handover ceremony, I did not turn up because I did not want to receive an incomplete thing.” He said. “I will be available during the official handover when the government will be handing over the clinic with all equipment available.”

Answering on behalf of Karonga District Council, Isaac Mkandawire who is the Council’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, said the council was engaging the Ministry of Health to provide necessary support to the clinic by January, 2018.