Section: News : Malawi

50TH Of MLAMBE HOSPITAL Lunzu, BLANTYRE, MALAWI

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.

Celebration of Mass
Upon reaching the ground where the mass was to be celebrated one could surely say, “Wisdom dwells in the midst of humanity.” People from all walks of life were gathered, songs were sung led by the Parish Choir of Lunzu. Sr. Annie Kapenda, Vice Provincial, welcomed the people and in her opening address, she assured the people of the presence of all Daughters of Wisdom. She even told the assembly that the Sisters in Italy were celebrating mass in communion with them. Sr. Agnes Mdzinga then read the history of Mlambe Hospital telling them that it is the board of Governors who are running the hospital now on behalf of the Daughters of Wisdom. Then the bishop led the people into the Eucharistic celebration. Soon after the Gospel reading, balloons were released into the air by the flower girls to symbolize the fifty years of existence of Mlambe Hospital.

Album photo

Speeches 
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!”

 Staff commitment
People who have served at the hospital for more than 30 years received gifts as a way of encouraging others to be committed and to work hard. They should love to be at Mlambe and not go around looking for green pastures. The driver for example served for 30 years. Four nurses served from 35 to 40 years and the Head cleaner for 32 years. The Daughters of Wisdom received a gift of a beautiful wall clock with a picture of the front view of the hospital.
Dance and song
As soon as the mass ended, lunch was served at the Daughters of Wisdom hall. To conclude the day, a Catholic band formed by a Montfort Father took the people into motion. The first song was dedicated to Blessed Pope John Paul II, as it was the same song they sung in 1989 to welcome Him at the stadium when he visited Malawi.  
All activities marked a memorable day to all of us, as some staff members performed traditional dances and poems. Even children born within the campus were not spared as they formed their dancing groups and cheered the assembly.
Thank you, thank you were words heard at the end of the dance marking it as an unforgettable day in our history.
Wisdom was celebrated by all. The table was spread and Wisdom welcomed everybody. Thanks to the first Daughters of Wisdom who came to open Mlambe Hospital, the Spirit of Montfort and Marie Louise continue to live on.

Photo Album



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