HOMI Board member and staff visits Iponga Health Centre in Karonga Malawi where issues of maternal health are of a big concern.
Karonga , Iponga is one of the sites where HOMI is operating in several community intervention programs……
Iponga Health Centre serves the population of 25,919 and there are only 25 health workers. An average of about 3,000 patients are treated in a month while in the rainy and malaria season it covers an average of over 8,000 especially from November to February. The Senior HSA indicated that only 11 Health Surveillance Assistance are available with a gap of 4.Further, it has only 1 community Mid wife available with a gap of 3.
The team also observed that the facility do not have the electricity at the since February. It was recommended that that the solar can be of ideal.
- The Health centre has Kapolo as the nearest referral Rural Hospital which is 41km. The Hospital Incharge complaint that they even handle cases from Mapwa area which is 22km prone to floods and makes difficult for mothers and children to access maternal or child health care services. There are 35 deliveries of babies in a week.
Some Notable Challenges
- Shortages of drugs like Gentamicin, tetracycline, Zinc, ORS, magnesium, Sulphate
- No cold chain ( refrigerators) to keep vaccines
- No mobility- even for extension Health workers to visit Maternal women so there’s need for 2 motor bikes
- From 11 health post on 3 are functional thus Kalembo, Mwanyoka and Kabale
- No Ambulance, no bicycle ambulance
- Water and sanitation very poor. There’s one borehole shared with communities
- No incinerator available, they use ash pit
- No friendly youth facilities to access health services
- Shortages of maternal beds, only 6 beds available
- Maternal wing needs to be extended
- Waiting room in construction but need to speed up completion
- No PPE’s such as gloves, masks, Aprons, only given 10 gloves a month
- No Catheters
- No sterilizers
- No saline
- No Thermometers and stop watches
- No weighing scales for under-five clinics
- No staff toilets
- Staff houses a big problem only 4 available and have NO electricity, need to add 6
- No friendly structures to persons with disabilities, only a single toilet has
- Steps and entrances to the health Centre has no friendly entries for disabilities
- No movable structures for disabilities
- No wheel chairs for disabilities
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