Mzimba District Hospital is spending almost K1.5 million a month on fuel for standby generators to mitigate life-threatening impacts of constant power disruptions.
In an interview, Mzimba South district health officer Lumbani Munthali said the power blackouts have worsened the hospital’s financial problems.
He appealed to the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to spare hospitals from the ongoing outages, which have seen some locations going 24 hours without power.
“Having blackouts from 6am to 6am is a big problem to us. Generators are very costly. In time of emergencies or when we need to do operations, we use the main generator which needs 150 to 200 litres of fuel every 12 hours. We cannot manage,” he said.
Munthali said the hospital is blowing limited funds on fuel instead of using it on healthcare services, including mass awareness campaigns on cholera, hygiene, sanitation and nutrition.
“At the end of the month, we have to pay utility bills. For the district hospital alone, we pay K2.5 million to Escom every month,” he said.
Government, with the assistance of Global Fund, is installing a solar power system at the facility to mitigate power problems.
Recently, Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) chief executive officer William Liabunya said the power woes will be lessened when three generators to be installed in Mzuzu become operational by December 25. n