Since 2015, the number of patients in Pio Health Center has increased dramatically. It is a good sign that people trust the clinic and seek medical help. The clinic offers space for both individual care and group information. As the influx continues to increase, the clinic is simply too small to provide the right care for all these patients. This resulted in long queues and patients being sent away after a day of waiting to try again the next day. To prevent this in the future, the multidisciplinary center has been built and the clinic will be further expanded into a hospital.
The goal of Live Life Foundation is to improve the quality of healthcare. This starts with the prevention of diseases. Due to the expansions, there will be more room to work on the prevention of diseases and to increase the general knowledge about health among the local population. We now succesfully built a multidisciplinary center, where a nutritionist, nurse, psychologist and physiotherapist work together for optimal care. Having different disciplines close together, will result in lower healthcare costs and more efficient care. The patient no longer has to travel to different hospitals.
In addition, the multidisciplinary center has two specialties. Previously, information sessions for mother- and childcare were held in the clinic twice a month. This took place in the waiting area of the pharmacy and resulted in chaos, because sick patients were in the same waiting room as where the information was given. Due to the large influx of mothers with children, this space was too small. The health center now has a separate room where information can be provided so mothers and their children can receive the proper attention they deserve. Mothers and children who need extra care can be referred to the nutritionist and nurse for nutritional advice, vaccinations or other care.
There is a great shortage of physiotherapists in Malawi. The profession is only practiced in one hospital, but the number of patients requiring physiotherapy is immense. There is also an enormous need for physiotherapy in the area around Mzuzu. Having a disability is something people do not like to talk about. Children are often kept at home out of shame but also because they do not know how to supervise the child.
A rehabilitation department has been realized in the multidisciplinary center, where patients can be trained in order to improve the quality of life and increase the chances of finding a place in society. Students Danielle, Anoeshka and Franciska, from the master’s program in pediatric physiotherapy at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, will help us to make (pediatric) physiotherapy in the clinic a reality. They will be committed to this for three years. It is so important to give every child the opportunity to develop themselves, to be accepted in society and to get the best out of their future.
The construction project for the multidisciplinary center was divided into five phases, so that the project remained clear and there was better monitoring of progress and planning. First of all, a few trees around the clinic were felled, measurements were taken and the correct place was decided. The foundation of the center was completed in April of 2018. Phase 2 started in May 2018 and the walls were erected to roof height, after which the ceiling and roof were constructed in June 2018 (phase 3). Phase 4 and 5 were the final phases. This involved installing the electricity, the pipes and painting the walls. The finishing touches and furnishing are also almost completed.
Mariska and Daniëlle visited the project in October 2018. The hope was that the center would then be completely finished, but unfortunately that was not yet the case. However, the center has already been festively opened and the entire board of Live Life Foundation and all donors are thanked.