“Welcome Mr. Phukaphuka,” I warmly uttered the words as I gently stood up from my seat. I was very pleased that I was finally meeting him. We had been rescheduling our appointments for quite a while now owing to his busy schedule as a policeman cum legal officer. Mr. Aulerious Phukaphuka has been in the police service for over a decade and his resume was rife with a plethora of achievements that he is so proud of – achievements in the child rights field. Among his touted accomplishments is the establishment of a special legal clinic specially dedicated to handling child-related cases ranging from child marriages to defilement and others.
Dzaleka Refugee Camp, home to over 50,000 people from various countries, is served by Dzaleka Health Centre, a small clinic that caters for a combined total of 80,000 people including Malawians from surrounding villages. And the number keeps increasing. Due to the sheer overwhelming numbers of people that the health centre accommodates, the small hospital constantly faces acute shortages of essential drugs. At one point, the health centre ran out of anaesthetics, causing alarm, especially in the maternity section where the drug is critical.