Rumphi, November 8, Mana: Eva Demaya Centre an organization founded by former Member of Parliament for Rumphi West, Jacqueline Kouwenhoven at Luviri in Rumphi on Saturday celebrated its twentieth anniversary at the centre which was punctuated with traditional dances and other performances.
In an interview, Kouwenhoven on Monday described the twenty years the organization has been in existence as a period of being there for the people of Rumphi.
“It has been twenty years of healthcare provision, orphan care providing school fees for needy students and being there for the people of the area. Over 400,000 patients have been attended to at the centre. At least 20, 000 people tested for HIV and 5000 orphans have acquired vocational skills at the centre during the period.
“I had decided to be with the people in this area and that is the reason I renounced my Dutch citizenship to become a citizen of Malawi,” she said.
She also disclosed that the organization has now partnered with The Seed foundation which has also roped in Wezi Medical Centre based in Mzuzu to improve healthcare provision in the area.
She said the new partnership will result in the construction of a new girl’s high school at Jalira under traditional authority Chikulamayembe.
On his part Wezi Medical Centre Executive Director, Douglas Lungu said the partnership is there to improve the wellbeing of people in the area.
He added that Wezi Medical Centre will complement the services provided at the health facility.
He disclosed that the medical centre has also plans to run outreach clinics that would make sure people in the area access quality medical care at a small fee.
Group Village Mwadandambi who is also board chairperson for Eva Demaya Centre said Kouwenhoven has fulfilled all the promises she made to the area.
He said the center has improved the road network as it has constructed a bridge adding: “The education in the area has also been improved through the construction of Luviri Girls Boarding Secondary School which is already operation.”
Director of Administration at Rumphi District Council, Thomas Mwafongo advised other organizations to emulate the good example shown by the center.
The centre which was founded in 2001, among other, provides free antenatal services and post-natal care, HIV testing while charges K1400 for maternity (delivery) among others.
Kouwenhoven was Member of Parliament for Rumphi West from 2014 to 2019 when she lost current Member of Parliament, Yona Mkandawire.
Most of the activities at the centre are funded by donors although recently due to covid-19 economic effects the centre is now running on savings.