By Andrew Magombo
Lilongwe, March 29, Mana: Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has appealed to authorities in her ministry to take care of equipment in their respective duty stations through regular service maintenance programmes as a token of appreciation to donors.
Chiponda made the remarks at Capital Hill on Wednesday when the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) symbolically handed over 28 units of Hino 3-tonne trucks, five units of Cold Rooms with their generators and a next-generation sequencer all worth K3 billion.
The Minister said the donation is timely and the trucks will be evenly distributed to each of the 28 District Health Offices across the country hence directors should ensure that the vehicles are well taken care of amidst rising demand of health services.
“We are aware that few districts have running vehicles against a high demand of transport and logistics which are key to move supplies like: vaccines, medicines, tents in time of floods, moving people and property from one point to another for safety,
“Vehicles of this tonnage are huge resource, having these particular logistical trucks donation will not only support with immunisation items but all logistics in and out of the districts so that we have a comprehensive health system which is responsive, “she said.
Chiponda therefore pleaded for an end to a tradition of neglecting motor vehicles for maintenance with an aim to have them sold off in a short span.
On his part, Japanese Ambassador to Malawi Yoichi Oya said the donation is part of the Covid-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support to developing countries as a recovery plan from the pandemic.
Oya highlighted the importance to strengthen capacity of core healthcare facilities, diagnostic laboratories, and networking of health facilities whose numbers and quality are often insufficient against the demand.
“’We understand the importance of access to quality healthcare especially during these challenging times, the Covid-19 pandemic, Cholera outbreak and the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy have highlighted the vital role of healthcare services,
“I hope the Malawi Government will utilise the equipment sufficiently and effectively to current and future health crises in this country,” he said.
Meanwhile, equipment of the Five cold rooms and their generators to be installed in Lilongwe (1), Mzuzu (1), Blantyre (2) and Mangochi (1) is expected for delivery by September 26, 2023.