Community members around Katili Health Centre in Karonga have bemoaned the unreliable mobile phone network signal in their area.
In an interview, group village head Kyebama said the situation affects health workers when making referrals at night.
He said they engaged authorities to rectify the problem, but the situation remains the same.
“People have mobile phones, but cannot use them due to poor network. We ask mobile operators to install a network tower,” said Kyebama.
Katili Health Centre senior health surveillance assistant officer Henry Mwakikunga said people walk about two kilometres to access mobile phone network.
“When we have a patient at night and we want to refer them to a district hospital, we ask guardians to escort us where there is network,” he said.
Mwakikunga said people travel about 20 kilometres to Karonga Boma to make money transactions through TNM Mpamba or Airtel Money.
Karonga Central legislator Leonard Mwalwanda (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) said mobile service providers should install network towers in the area to ease communication.
“Mobile service providers should not only prioritise where there are companies for their own benefits. They should know that people from some areas will benefit from communication with people from Katili,” he said
But Airtel public relations officer Norah Chavula cited topography and the number of subscribers as some of the factors causing network challenges.
She said their engineers will look into the problem.
TNM head of brand and marketing communications Louis Chipofya said they will assess the situation and where possible, install a tower.