President Filipe Nyusi on 10 June inaugurated a new hospital in Jangamo district, in the southern province of Inhambane, as part of the presidential initiative "One district, one hospital", to ensure that each of Mozambique's 154 districts has a reference hospital.
"The idea is to guarantee that, in a short space of time, Mozambique expands the coverage of good quality health services to all regions of the country, and particularly the rural areas", President Nyusi stressed at the inauguration ceremony.
Building the Jangamo hospital, he said, was not merely complying with the government's own heath agenda - it was also in line with the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals "which seek to ensure access to quality health care and promote the well-being of all".
President Nyusi pointed out that the Jangamo hospital will benefit more than 150,000 people. In the past, to obtain hospital care, the residents of Jangamo district had to travel long distances, often on foot, to reach the cities of Inhambane or Maxixe. "Pregnant women about to give birth will no longer have to make their way across long distances to obtain specialist treatment", President Nyusi added. He stated that the new district hospital will also encourage tourism, which, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, was regarded as the key economic area for Inhambane province. "Tourists need a guarantee of security and medical treatment in the event of any health emergency", he said.
President Nyusi was pleased to note that construction of the new hospital included houses for the doctors, boreholes for water supply and an electricity generator. "This is fundamental", he declared.
The President said that, from 2019 to 2020, the national health service had expanded from 1,674 to 1,721 health units, a growth of 2.8 per cent. But most of these are health posts, and health centres, rather than hospitals. "The challenge still remains", said President Nyusi, "since only 47 of the country's 154 districts have a district hospital".
The Jangamo hospital has a 55-bed capacity, and was financed by the Islamic Development Bank, which provided US$11 million. Work on the hospital began in February 2018, and, although it has only now been officially inaugurated, ended in March 2020. The facilities include an operating theatre, emergency services, a blood bank, a maternity ward, a waiting house where pregnant women can stay before they give birth, a pharmacy, and a morgue.
"As you can see, our philosophy is not simply to proclaim the district as a pole of development, but to take development to the district", said President Nyusi. "We are taking hospitals, banks, electricity, water, markets and much more to the districts".
The President also urged the managers and doctors at the hospital to respect the patients, and to avoid illicit charges for services "because this damages the image of the health professionals and destroys the efforts of the government".