50TH ANNIVERSARY OF MLAMBE HOSPITAL
Lunzu, BLANTYRE, MALAWI
Sr. Margaret Janesi
It was a bright day with a cool breeze and the sun bringing a little bit of warmth, leaving nobody complaining of heat or cold. It was as if it had known that Mlambe Hospital had clocked 50 years of existence, June 8, 2013. A great celebration for everyone! Mlambe Hospital was founded by the Daughters of Wisdom of the Province of Holland in 1963 before Malawi obtained its independence in 1964. Sr. Maria Voss is regarded as the foundress of the hospital.
Upon their arrival in Malawi, the Daughters of Wisdom bought land in Chief Kapeni’s area 30 km away from the main commercial city of Blantyre. It was a rural area then and now it has grown into semi-urban. This is where the Mlambe hospital was erected. It is surrounded now by a market, bank, bars, nurseries and schools, both primary and secondary. On the hospital campus, stands the Provincial House of the Daughters of Wisdom.
Past and present history
In an effort to widen the space of their tent, the sisters first opened the clinic with 36 beds and used one room at the Sisters’ house as Operating Room. As years passed by, the hospital expanded with 254 in-patients, under the following departments: Maternity, Outpatient, Surgical, Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT), Laboratory, male and female Medical wards, Eye Clinic, X-ray, Pharmacy and Pediatric ward and outreach services.
Renovated laboratory and Ambulance
Today, upon his arrival, the Archbishop was led to the conference room to sign the visitors’ book. He then proceeded to cut the ribbon marking the opening of the renovated laboratory by the Centre for Disease Control, an American organization. The Hospital Management then led the Archbishop to the car park where the keys for the new ambulance were handed over to him by the Vice Provincial. This gesture symbolized that, with this ambulance as means of transport, the Archbishop has to take care of all the people in the Archdiocese Christians and Moslems alike. Our sincere thanks to Sr. Louise Madore, Superior General, the General Council and Treasurer of the Daughters of Wisdom for widening their tents and reaching out to the people of Malawi through the generous donation given to the hospital through the Board of Governors. The Board bought the ambulance, renovated the wards and also separated the water meters of the staff houses from the hospital.
Among the dignitaries invited, the board chair of the hospital, the American deputy Chairman for Centre and Disease Control, the Archbishop and others gave their vote of thanks mainly to the Daughters of Wisdom for the continued support and the smooth running of the hospital. People broke into laughter when the Chief of the area said, “I am happy that today we are celebrating the birthday of our Mlambe Hospital. Even in the village, we celebrate the birthdays of our children, why not today for our mother Mlambe? She takes care of us all. Let us celebrate!”