Mozambique’s publicly owned electricity company, EDM, has announced that it will build an independent, medium-voltage transmission line exclusively to provide power to the country’s newest health facility, the Quelimane Central Hospital in Zambezia Province.

According to a report on the independent television station STV, the new line will be five kilometres long and will cost more than 28 million meticais (about 400,000 US dollars). The director of EDM’s Quelimane distribution area, Maria Quipico, said the money is available, and EDM is beginning to mobilize the materials necessary to build the line.

Currently, the hospital draws electricity from a 100-kilometre long transmission line, which also supplies power to nearby beach resorts such as Zalala, and the small town of Macuse. Any disturbance along this line affects the hospital,” said Quipico.

President Filipe Nyusi inaugurated Quelimane Central Hospital on Oct 26. It is the largest hospital built in Mozambique since independence in 1975, and is the fourth health unit to enjoy the status of central hospital (the others are in Maputo, Beira and Nampula).

The hospital has state-of-the-art equipment, but much of this depends on a reliable source of electricity. The hospital director, Ladino Suade, warned shortly after the hospital was inaugurated that the power currently supplied is not of good enough quality to feed the equipment installed there.

The hospital was designed for specialist care, but due to the poor quality of the electricity provided by EDM, much of the modern equipment installed to save lives is not working. This has greatly affected our work, Suade added.

This problem should be solved within a few months. Quipico expects all the material required for building a dedicated transmission line to the hospital to arrive in January, and she believed the line will be functioning by the end of June.