Returnees and Community Members Engage in Rehabilitation of Health Centre in Maputo

The local community members and returnees will benefit from the EU-funded renovation of Ndlavela Health Centre in Maputo Province. Photo: IOM/ Faira Alibhai 

Maputo – Yesterday (19/12), the District Government of Matola, in cooperation with the National Institute for Mozambican Communities Abroad (INACE) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with the support of the European Union, launched the rehabilitation of the Ndlavela Health Centre in Maputo Province to provide the community with improved access to health services.  

“This health centre is a lifeline for the community. We receive hundreds of patients every day, who require basic to more complex services,” said Saide Momade, Director of the Health Centre. “It needs an upgrade in order to provide improved services for our patients. We are thrilled that this renovation will take place and pleased that it will involve the community.” 

The renovation of the Ndlavela Health Centre is supported by a European Union funded Pilot Action on Voluntary Return and Sustainable, Community-Based Reintegration in Southern Africa. The renovation will be implemented through a cash for work scheme, whereby 20 community members, as well as 20 male and female returnees from South Africa – and originally from Matola – will access short-term employment. They will also receive valuable training in building construction.  

The renovation effort will cover several spaces, including treatment rooms, the maternity ward, and bathrooms. It will continue through February 2020. The health centre serves the surrounding community of more than 17,000 people, including returnees. 

The need for the rehabilitation of Ndlavela Health Centre came up during a community dialogue held in Matola in March 2019, where community members voiced concerns and expressed community priorities. The participants identified activities that would address the causes of migration, especially to South Africa, and also benefit the communities who welcome returnees back home.  

Guillome Cossa, who recently returned to his home in Ndlavela after 13 years in South Africa, said: “The services of this health centre are central for our community. I am also a resident; my wife gave birth to our son here. I have experience in construction, so I made myself available for this effort. I am glad for the employment opportunity, and to work together with my neighbours.” 

EU Delegation Programme Manager, Abel Piqueras Candela, added: “The European Union is pleased to support both community members and returnees’ joint effort to improve health services in Matola for the benefit of the residents of this area.” 

The EU funded Pilot Action on Voluntary Return and Sustainable, Community-Based Reintegration in Southern Africa benefits several countries, including South Africa, as a country of destination, and Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique as countries of origin. It has so far assisted 264 Mozambican nationals to voluntarily return from South Africa to their communities. The project also supported a total of 138 Mozambicans who were assisted to return from South Africa after the xenophobic attacks occurred there last September. 

IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa Charles Kwenin said, “Assisted Voluntary Return is an important tool to manage migration in the Southern African region. It is a privilege for IOM to pilot this initiative in Southern Africa, and it is encouraging to see a concrete community intervention of this type materialize.” 

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For more information, please contact Faira Alibhai at IOM Mozambique, Tel: +258 852 162 278, Email: