CHRISTINE CHIHAME, Mansa
CHIEF Nshimba of the Shila people in Kilwa Island has called on Government to consider constructing a hospital in the area as residents cross to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to access health facilities.
Chief Nshimba said good health services bring about good health and productivity in the country. He said in an interview that the island only has a single rural health centre which caters for a population of over 20,000 people on the Island. He said the island has faced a lot of challenges in all sectors of development. “We need a hospital, people cross into the nearby DRC for medication where they are subjected to brutal treatment by authorities, high medical fees, and some die on the way to the hospital, while others die when boats capsize on the lake,” chief Nshimba said. He said the rural health centre, despite being the only existing health facility has inadequate and dilapidated infrastructure and lacks medical equipment and has shortage of drugs. “The health centre lacks trained staff, staff accommodation, maternity facilities, and most women deliver in their homes,” he said. He said good health can only be attained with good health facilities in place and therefore, the island needs a hospital with a well-equipped maternity ward. Chief Nshimba said Government is committed to improving the health sector. He said many lives in the area have been lost due to the long distance covered to access a health facility.