Friday, April 12, 2013

Ndoki health centre on verge of collapse, says Luwingu DC
By Edwin Phiri in Luwingu
Fri 12 Apr. 2013, 14:00 CAT

LUWINGU district commissioner Mambwe Katontoka says Ndoki Rural Health Centre is on the verge of collapse due to huge cracks developing on the walls.

Katontoka who travelled to the area to ascertain the state of the government building constructed in 1998, said it had become very dangerous and pleaded with the Ministry of Education to surrender one of the unoccupied teachers' houses to be used as a centre for the time being.

"Yah, this is what rains can do sure to this building providing health service to the community!" she said to herself.

Katontoka said the institution was meant to cater to over 50,000 people and others from villages situated in Chilubi district, adding if closed, the local people would suffer.

Katontoka also disclosed that Ruthens Construction Company engaged to construct a maternity annex at the health centre had vanished after only delivering over 300 pockets of cement, door and window frames, wheel barrows and brick force wire spider trances.

She said the cement which was delivered between November 2011 and February 2012 had since expired, hardened and could not be used in any construction.

And speaking on behalf of Ndoki residents, Francis Kasonde said the community was ready to contribute over 25 per cent to see the construction of a new rural health centre, including staff houses if government assured them of funding as soon as possible.

Kasonde said it would be unfair for the government to close the centre without providing a lasting solution to help people access health services.

He said the population in that area had grown adding that patients including pregnant mothers could not afford to walk over 60 kilometres to Shimumbi Health Centre and over 200 kilometres to Luwingu District Hospital respectively.

Kasonde asked the district commissioner to talk to the District Education Board Secretary for possible use of a classroom block as a temporary health centre during school holiday rather than completely closing the institution.

And Ndoki school head teacher Geshom Chibuye said following the crises, the school stands with the community to release a teacher's house to be used as a temporary health centre as government looks for other avenues.
And when contacted for comment, provincial infrastructure officer for Northern and Muchinga Province Francis Mulenga said Ndoki Rural Health Centre was declared unfit because it could collapse any time.

Mulenga also said the Ministry of Health was doing everything possible to ensure that the construction of maternity annex was done within this year.

He said the contractor engaged to do the maternity annex in Ndoki had his contract terminated and government was considering sending another contractor to finish the job.

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