Mchinji District Health Office (DHO) has said Zambians and Mozambicans seeking free healthcare services in Malawi are overwhelming health facilities in the district, thereby affecting delivery of such services.
Mchinji District Hospital public relations officer Frank Nyasulu said in a telephone interview on Monday that of late the district has been registering a steady increase of patients coming from the neighbouring countries to access free healthcare services in the facilities.
He said the trend is negatively affecting Malawians who, when drugs run out, cannot access healthcare services in Zambia or Mozambique due to lack of identification for those countries.
Nyasulu said: “This problem will certainly persist if no proper measures of identifying patients are put in place. Zambians and Mozambicans are taking advantage of the absence of national identity cards in Malawi.
“When they come, most of them register as Malawians. We are assured that there are many who register as Malawians because we have known foreigners who come to seek such services.”
He said the affected health centres include Kapanga, Kazyozyo, Mkanda and Gumba.
Nyasulu said there is need to come up with deliberate efforts to check foreigners that invade such facilities.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe said Capital Hill was aware of the problem, which has also affected other border districts.
He added that government was working on rectifying it through issuance of national registration cards. n