Announcement: Chokwe Health Center Inaugurated in Mozambique
On October 26, 2012, THP-Mozambique celebrated the inauguration of the Chokwe Epicenter Health Center in the Gaza Province of Mozambique. Under the auspices of the District Administrator of Chokwe, who was accompanied by his staff, government officials and local leaders, nearly five hundred epicenter partners celebrated the opening of an easily accessible, staffed health center.
As both television and radio media looked on, the District Administrator and his adjuncts opened the inauguration ceremony with encouraging words for the community, reminding them of their ownership and responsibility in sustaining the operations of the health center. In response, the community promised to not only look after the health center but also for the government-assigned nurse who is now residing at the clinic in nurses’ quarters built by the community and THP-Mozambique. Officials cut the ribbon hung across the gates of the newly completed health center and champagne was sprinkled over the entryway to bring good health to the community.
The health center will serve the Chokwe Epicenter community, which has had limited access to health services, by providing general health services as well as maternity and neonatal care. Community members interviewed at the inauguration declared that the reduced travel time to obtain health services, combined with the opportunity for mothers to deliver in a safe, clean environment, would make a large impact for women, children and men in the community. Government health authorities have already committed to sending a second nurse and have offered oversight advice regarding the construction of a sterilization room and a medical storage room.
The health center nurses were wise to immediately take up their posts at the health center, because the first patient, Ignésia Gonçalves Ngovene, arrived that very evening. As night fell and the celebration came to an end, Ignésia arrived on foot at the clinic, ready to deliver her child. By the time morning came, she had safely delivered a healthy baby boy, Jerson Ernesto Nhassengo, with the support of the health center staff. As the health center opened for its first full day of operations, the nurse monitored both mother and baby as they recuperated from their long night. The wonderful news of the health center opening was augmented by the happy news of the new baby, who will be able to enjoy the services of the health center as he grows.