Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) has reopened Blantyre Covid-19 Emergency Treatment Unit that was closed in June following misunderstandings between health workers and government over allowances.
Since then, all Covid-19 cases were referred to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.
But during a briefing at the DHO offices on Wednesday, Blantyre district environmental health officer Penjani Chunda said they resolved the issue as United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) through Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) paid the 88 health care workers.
“We are grateful that Unicef has paid the arrears on our behalf,” he said.
Chunda also said the DHO will soon conduct screening of all inmates at Chichiri Prison following reports that 56 inmates have tested Covid-19 positive at the facility.
“We will also train community members on how to bury people who die from the virus,” he said.
On June 16 2020 Blantyre district director of health and social services Gift Kawalazira admitted that they owed 88 health care workers allowances.
He, however, said the DHO received K45 million out of which 48 percent was used to pay allowance arrears for workers stationed at Chileka International Airport in December last year.
“Fifty two percent of the money went into procurement of supportive items, including fuel for field vehicles,” he said.
In a separate interview yesterday, MRCS communications and humanitarian diplomacy specialist Felix Washon said they paid the money after government requested them to intervene.
“We did not hesitate to pay arrears worth K34 million to health care workers knowing that they are doing a good job by sacrificing their lives to save others,” he said.