Malawi government has blamed the continuing woes at one of the country’s main referral hospitals Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe on the opposition’s exaggeration of the situation and the hospital management for failing to prioritise funding.
Speaking at two separate events, Health Minister Catherine Gotani Hara and her deputy Chikumbutso Hiwa refused to take the blame for the situation at KCH which saw the mortuary closed down briefly to get rid of decomposed bodies and the main operating theatre reducing capacity due to lack of equipment.
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday in Lilongwe during a signing ceremony of K270 million (about $675 000) grant from Japan to improve health facilities in Ntchisi, Hiwa described problems at KCH as minor and that they have just been amplified by the opposition.
Hiwa refused to shed more light on the particular opposition members who are working towards tarnishing President Joyce Banda’s regime through fabrication of stories about KCH crisis.
“The KCH crisis is political. There are some politicians from opposition who are exaggerating the situation at KCH. These are minor problems which are exaggerated by people who do not wish Joyce Banda’s government well. President Banda is trying her best to improve the health sector,” Hiwa said.
But speaking in a separate interview, opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson Jessie Kabwila described Hiwa’s statement as unfortunate and insensitive.
“As a member of opposition, MCP is very disheartened by the honourable minister’s allegations. This just shows that the ruling People’s Party is the architect of the problems at KCH and they want to push the problem on us, the innocent opposition. KCH problems are a result of PP’s mismanagement of public funds at Capital Hill,” said Kabwila.
Gotani Hara, who last week feigned ignorance when asked about the matter, blamed poor management at KCH for failing to fix the compressors on the mortuary cold rooms on time even after numerous reminders from mortuary attendants.
Making the remarks at a press conference which Banda called at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, Gotani Hara said: “Management would have been able to fix the compressors if only they had prioritised certain issues.”
Meanwhile, the hospital’s director Noordin Alide has been transferred to the HIV/Aids Unit of the Ministry of Health where he will be a director.
Alide confirmed that he reported for work on Friday, February 28.