Communities around Kapanga Health Centre in Mchinji have asked government to replace a nurse/midwife technician at the public facility, accusing him of routinely absconding duties.
This was disclosed on Tuesday during a district interface meeting on the prevention from mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) in Mchinji organised by the Kalondolondo programme.
The nurse, Anthony Kaligande, is said to be the only midwife technician at the health centre since he was deployed to the facility two years ago.
The situation has been described as a setback in the safe motherhood campaign at a centre that caters for over 50 villages and registers an average of 60 births a month.
Mchinji district hospital administrator John Baluti said he is aware of the issue.
Baluti said the hospital gave Kaligande several warnings before referring the matter to the Ministry of Health headquarters in Lilongwe.
“It is indeed true that this is the case at Kapanga. Our inspection teams proved true the accusations levelled against the employee. On our part, we served the accused with several warnings. The issue is now being handled at the ministry headquarters,” he said.
An attendant at the health centre, Agness Ofesi, said she and her colleagues are now conducting midwifery duties in the absence of the trained technician.
“We are actually performing all the duties of a nurse in a maternity setting. For example, in November last year, the centre had 96 new births. He only attended to six deliveries while we did the rest,” said Ofesi during the meeting that brought together service providers and policy makers.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Henry Chimbali said the ministry is dealing with the issue.
Programme manager for Kalondolondo, Jephther Mwanza, wondered whether government has an effective human resource development plan.
“It begs the question whether as a country we make a closer assessment of our needs before adopting and actually implementing some interventions,” said Mwanza.