The electrification of Changata Health Centre in Thyolo District will improve maternal health especially during delivery. This was said by Thyolo District Commissioner, Justin Kanthumba, during a Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP) switch on ceremony which saw the rural area of Changata getting connected to the national electricity grid and receiving power supply.
Kanthumba’s sentiments were echoed by Steve Manyozo, Facility in Charge at Changata Health Centre.
“Working during night shifts is difficult. We are forced to use candles, lamps and torches during delivery. We have solar power but it’s not dependable as it depends on weather conditions and only functions during daytime. The coming in of electricity will, therefore, greatly ease our work,” said Manyozo.
Asiileni Makwete, one of the women from Changata who frequents the health centre said the coming of electricity would make delivery faster and efficient and would save lives of the mother and the baby.
“We would have to wait for paraffin or candles when they ran out during labour. In the process, the mother would miscarry or lose her life. With the coming in of electricity, this will be history,” said Makwete.
According to Manyozo, the connection of electricity to Changata Health Centre will further open doors for new medical services such as cancer screening that could not be introduced due to lack of stable power supply.
It will also lead to improvement of lives of medical staff at the health centre as the electricity has also been connected to staff houses, removing the desire for staff to quit and seek opportunities in urban areas.
MAREP is a government of Malawi project aimed at increasing access to electricity to people in peri-urban and rural areas in order to reduce poverty, transform rural economies, improve productivity and the quality of social services. To date, over 336 rural centres have been electrified. The project has been extended and will see up to an additional 270 rural centres getting connected to the grid.
Changata Health Centre in Thyolo District has received electricity connection under the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP).