April 19, 2022
By Christine Hills
Kasenga, Zambia is home to more than 8,000 people, many of whom are retired civil servants and army personnel. While it is located about 65 kilometres from the capital city, Lusaka, the closest health facility was 16 kilometres away. Expectant mothers had to give birth in their homes, leading to an increase in maternal deaths with no trained health care providers at the time of delivery. People were also dying from malaria, diarrhea and HIV and AIDS because of the lack of access to health services.
In 2007, the Anglican Diocese of Lusaka embarked on a project to construct a maternity clinic in Kasenga to improve social and health impacts. The Diocese started planning the construction of the health centre with the District Health officer in Chongwe, where it is located. Anglicans in Kasenga identified three plots of land which had been donated to the Diocese. The Diocese made an agreement with the government to provide the building infrastructure while the government would provide the staff, medicines, drugs and specialized equipment. The final plan included the construction of a church, a retreat centre, a health clinic and a youth centre and will serve as the Mission Centre for the Diocese.
Over the years, the Diocese built the clinic, staff housing, facilities for washing and toilets (ablution block), a water reticulation system and provided some basic furniture. All of this was done with the help of partners. In 2019, PWRDF partnered with the Diocese to fund the construction of an incinerator ($12,000) and complete construction of the washing facilities and toilets (ablution block). These parts of the facility were required to make it operational. St. John the Baptist Church in Cobble Hill, B.C. also donated $7,665 towards the project.
On May 27, 2021 the health facility was commissioned. Since then, staff have helped women deliver more than 70 healthy babies. The centre also provides Mother to Child services, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, and malaria testing and treatment. Given the size of the outpatient area and the demand for services, plans to extend it are in place. The centre is very busy and staff often fill dual roles; one staff member is working in the labour ward as well as the outpatient clinic. The community will build another staff house and hire more health workers to meet the needs.
“PWRDF has helped us considerably in the fostering of health quality services in the area by the construction of the incinerator and ablution block,” writes Canon Grace N. Luwewa, Diocesan Administrator. “Thank you PWRDF for your love for God’s work.”
- With files from Canon Grace N. Luwewa