Kakwale Health Centre

Kakwale Health Centre

- March 2015 - The Board of Foundation Hulp aan Malawi has decided to support the realization of a Health Centre in Kakwale. A feasibility study conducted by Foundation Chovwano in the second half of 2014 provided sufficient information to convince the board that there is a great need for a health centre in this place and that further realization is feasible and necessary.

In 2011, in Kakwale, Kasungu North, the structural work of a health centre is built. The building (foundation, floor, exterior walls and roof) is then financed by the ‘Canada Fund’ organisation. There is no money to complete the construction, while there is an urgent need for a health clinic in this place. In Malawi, the government has unsufficient financial resources to build hospitals or health centres. For this, Malawi is completely dependent on foreign aid organizations. In April 2014, we (Jan Meijering and Nico van Basten, board members of  Foundation Hulp aan Malawi) took - during our stay in Malawi and Kakwale - the initiative to ensure that the health centre will be completed and put into use as quickly as possible.

Feasibility Study
During our visits to Kakwale in April 2014 we have watched the structure of the health clinic (28m x 12m) and we talked with stakeholders about possible completion. We have promised the residents that we would put our shoulders to the further realization of this health centre.
Back in the Netherlands we have decided to ask the ‘Foundation Chovwano for Development’ to carry out a study on the feasibility of the completion and commissioning of the health centre in Kakwale. This has resulted to an extensive report in which the need for the clinic is confirmed and in which is specified which organizations and organizational units are or will be involved in the realization of the health centre. In the report is also indicated what has to be done for completion and making operational of the health centre, what procedures should be followed, and what it costs. When the health centre has been completed, it can be handed over to the government, which then takes care of the health care facilities, personnel and commissioning.

The need for a health centre in Kakwale
The need for a health centre in Kakwale is very large. The clinic will provide Voluntary Counseling and Testing, Under Five Clinic and Maternity Examination. The most common daily medical activities and treatments will take place in the health centre. The distance from Kakwale to the nearest hospital is more than 20 km and transport facilities are very poor. If women are at the end of their pregnancy they now often have to walk to the nearest hospital. They stay there to wait until labor begins. Even if women, because complications or due to early arrival of labor, should go to the hospital, they should go there on foot. This sometimes leads to pregnant women delivering on pathways as they go to hospital, loss of the unborn child, or sometimes even to woman’s death. Also for treating of other diseases the distance to the nearest hospital is too large, causing unnecessary deaths. The government has officially determined that a health centre in Kakwale meets in a regional need for the region in and around Kakwale and the urgency for commissioning of the centre is high. With the realization, direct access to a health centre will be available for about 22.000 people. More people's lives can be saved, people's health will improve and diseases can be better prevented or cured. The impact area of the intended Kakwale Health Centre covers 21.980 inhabitants spread over the following communities: Kakwale area (7.780), Boni Area (6.500) and Ntchawaka Area (7.700).

Necessary additional facilities
For a proper functioning of the health centre it is necessary that a number of additional facilities will be realized: staff houses, a guardian shelter, an incinerator and a borehole pump. These additional facilities will be funded by the organization Plan Malawi. We expect to receive soon a document in which is recorded the willingness of Plan Malawi to finance these additional provisions.

Guarantee from the government
An absolute precondition for us is, that the government gives a guarantee that the health centre will be operational when the structure building is completed. That means that – after the hospital building is completed and handed over to the Government - the Government, through the Ministry of Health and Population -  will provide minor equipment to the health centre, will provide staff, will put the health centre  into use and will run the health centre. Meanwhile we got that guarantee in the form of a ‘commitment letter’ of the Kasungu District Health Officer (DHO), on behalf of the Malawian government. Foundation Hulp aan Malawi will take responsibility for special attention to be sure that the government fulfills its commitments and the hospital thus becomes operational after completion.

Financing completion structure health centre
An amount of € 31.500,- is required for the completion of the health centre. We have started raising funds to finance the completion of the structure building. The completion can take place as soon as the required amount is available.