The Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) has donated five new ambulances and office equipment to Mangochi District Hospital to enhance health services in the district.
The donation was made on Saturday at Mangochi District Council at a colourful event presided over by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa.
The five ambulances worth K178 million and the office equipment are part of the agency’s K11.7 billion Mangochi Basic Services Programme (MBSP) the government of Malawi signed with the Icelandic government in November 2017 for various interventions in health, education and water and sanitation between 2017 and 2021.
Nankhumwa hailed the Icelandic government for the donation saying it would help the Mangochi district health office operate with ease in delivering health services.
“The people and Government of Malawi are extremely grateful to the people and Government of Iceland for this donation of five ambulances and other equipment that will go a long way in improving the delivery of basic services in Mangochi District, especially in the health sector,” said Nankhumwa.
“This kind gesture underscores the cordial bilateral relationship that the two countries enjoy as well as the deep rooted love that the people of Iceland have for the people of Malawi,” said Nankhumwa.
Iceland Charge D’ Affaire to Malawi, Agusta Gisladittir, said her government always took pleasure in the implementation of the MBSP in the district and that ICEIDA would continue supporting Mangochi and Malawi in general in a number of areas.
Gisladittir appealed to Mangochi DHO and the district council to take good care of the donated ambulances and office equipment for them to last long.
“It is always sad to see vehicles and ambulances at a hospital being grounded simply because there is no fuel or the vehicles have not been serviced regularly,” said the Iceland envoy to Malawi.
District Commissioner for Mangochi, Reverend Moses chimphepo, said a total of K2.6 billion had already been disbursed to the council for implementation of various projects.
Apart from procuring the ambulances and office equipment, the district council has, under MBSP, completed construction of new maternity wing and it has also recruited 35 health workers and procured a lorry and a twin cab.
In education, the council has procured 60,000 textbooks for learners and it is about to construct 36 school blocks and 12 administration blocks, according to Chimphepo.