Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) has banned staff from vending within the referral hospital’s premises on grounds that the practice is compromising health service delivery.
According to a notice dated November 25 2017 signed by hospital director Janathan Ngoma, the hospital said the practice was unacceptable because it was affecting the smooth running of the facility.
Reads in part the notice: “It has come to my notice that some members of staff are engaged in illegal vending of foodstuffs and other commodities within the hospital premises. This is unacceptable and should stop immediately.
“Guards have been instructed to confiscate goods sold in our wards and other areas. Please be reminded that the hospital has a recognised market place where trading of such foodstuffs takes place.
“I am aware that staff who engage in vending do so while on duty. This is an act of misconduct and I will not hesitate to take strong disciplinary measures on such individuals if found.”
In an interview yesterday, Ngoma owned the notice, saying he was compelled to issue it because the hospital was turning into ‘Lizulu Market’, a popular produce market at Lizulu Trading Centre in Ntcheu.
He said: “Things were getting out of hand and we had to act. Vending in wards is unacceptable and it was affecting infection prevention and delivery of hospital services. Now the situation is better because those who are vending are transacting outside the hospital premises and adhering to what we asked them to do.”
A clinical officer, who asked for anonymity, said most of the staff involved in vending were support staff and that the situation was frustrating service delivery.
KCH is the major referral hospital for the Central Region and parts of the Northern Region.