Reduced government funding to Catholic health institutions creates challenges.

The Roman Catholic Church in Chipata has bemoaned lack of grants from government to Catholic Health institutions, which they say has drastically reduced by 30 per cent.
Catholic Diocese of Chipata Bishop, George Lungu says the monthly grant for Catholic mission hospitals has for a long time now been erratic and often not granted.
Bishop Lungu was speaking yesterday during the commemoration of Women’s Day by DMI, Daughters of Mary Immaculate Sisters in Chipata.
The Clergyman attributed the reduction of grants to mission hospitals to the removal of statutory instrument number 103, which effectively removed tax exemption enjoyed by the Church in the past.
He says this has led to a number of women dying due to lack of access to health facilities as transport at mission hospitals is inadequate.
The bishop explained that the Church spends about 100, 000 Kwacha to clear one new vehicle for a health facility which he says can be used for other programs.
Bishop Lungu has appealed to government to revisit the statutory instrument number 103, which he said has become an instrument of murder as many women have died due to lack of access to proper health care after it was removed.
The Bishop says the church does not want to be mistaken of engaging in anti-government propaganda when speaking about issues that affect the community because it is their obligation to speak for the needy.
And Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice President, Lawrence Sichalwe says government is committed to empowering women through various empowerment schemes.
Meanwhile, one of the DMI sisters, Marie Ran says their social program has empowered 1, 500 women from 30 women groups who are accessing micro credit loans amounting to 400, 000 Kwacha.

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