Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen), a health promotion and rights organisation, has asked the Medical Council of Malawi to act on the Thyolo District Hospital medic at the centre of a probe over his discharge of duties.
Thyolo District Hospital is investigating the circumstances under which an 18-year-old pregnant woman, Mphatso Phiri and her unborn baby died after the clinician Mark Likatho collapsed in the operating room suspected of being drunk. The clinician is also accused of reporting late for work.
Briefing journalists in Lilongwe yesterday after The Nation reported about the incident, Mhen board member Kestings Chilopa said the organisation had carried out an inquiry into the incident.
He said: “We ask the government and Medical Council of Malawi to take action on this clinical officer as well as on Thyolo District Hospital management.”
Mhen has since called for hospitals, including Thyolo District Hospital, to have systems in place that would deter drunken medical personnel from handling patients.
Investigations by Mhen found that the deceased pregnant woman was referred to Thyolo District Hospital from Mikolongwe Health Centre on Saturday afternoon, but the clinical officer on call delayed to come to the hospital.
Mhen said it found that Likatho only arrived around 3am after a vehicle was sent to go fetch him.
“He started conducting caesarean section on the woman and in the process he said he felt dizzy which our sources alluded that he fell asleep due to his state,” Chilopa said.
Medical Council of Malawi chairperson Professor John Chisi has since said investigations would be conducted and depending on the findings, the council would take action.
Meanwhile, Mhen and National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives in Malawi (Nonm) have asked authorities at Karonga District Hospital to resolve the dispute that has resulted in the strike of staff members at the hospital.
Nonm executive director Benson Phiri said there was a need for staff to belong to unions would facilitate discussions with management on their grievances.
Mhen has since called on Karonga District Hospital and staff to give dialogue prominence to ensure residents of Karonga are not denied their right to health service provision. n