Minister of Health Jappie Mhango says government will investigat the chaotic organisation and a stampede that marred walk-in mass interviews to recruit healthcare cadres on Tuesday. The fracas left 118 job seekers injured in Mzuzu.
With 10 of the injured job-seekers still bed-ridden at Mzuzu Central Hospital, the minister yesterday admitted that government overlooked certain important elements of the interview by, among others, underestimating the number of people that would turn up.
Mhango spoke on the sidelines of a visit to the hospital where he cheered up the injured persons.
He said: “First of all, we must admit that we probably missed some important elements of the interview. These are lessons that we draw going forward. We believe that in future we will do much better.
“I would like to put it on record that when the interviews were being planned, we wanted to replicate what we did when we interviewed professional health workers, but we overlooked the numbers.”
Desperate job seekers jostled to make their way at some venues in an exercise that exposed the levels of unemployment nationwide.
Mhango also blamed some officials conducting the interviews for opening the gates late, a development he said led to the pandemonium. He said all the injured persons will have an opportunity to do the interview after they get better.
Mzuzu Cntral Hospital nursing officer Daniel Mlenga said one of the patients remains critically ill, but was hopeful that the rest would be discharged soon.
He said: “We have one who had serious head injuries. That one may still be with us for some time.”
One of the patients, Moses Tembo, asked government to ensure that the youths find jobs so that they stay away from acts such as theft and drug and substance abuse.
Youth-Decide Campaign team leader Charles Kajoloweka also urged government to institute investigations into the recruitment process and ensure that those responsible for the stampede are held to account.
The Ministry of Health is seeking to employ 2 000 cadres nationwide to beef up personnel to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
President Peter Mutharika said the health workers will be recruited as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Malawi is also getting support from The Global Fund grant.