A study has shown Mpata and Lupembe health centres in Karonga are providing anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and TB drugs in the open.
Kachila Youth Initiative (Kayi) assessed the quality of these services at Karonga District Hospital as well as Kaporo, Lupembe and Mpata health centres.
The people living with HIV and TB receive treatment in corridors and tree shades, findings show.
Kayi director William Ngwira said: “This is uncalled for. Health workers at Mlare and Mpata compromise clients’ privacy, exposing them to stigma and discrimination. These public health centres must always deliver services according to Ministry of Health guidelines.”
The new evidence shows health workers in all four health facilities arrive late (between 9 and 10am) for ART and TB clients.
The clients say the caregivers do not adequately attend to their needs due to large turnout.
Dorica Luvanda, from Mpata, said health workers summon clients using a roll call “as if we are pupils in a boarding school”.
Karonga district medical officer Dr Lindani Chirwa said: “The population of Karonga has increased to 359 000 against health facilities that were developed over twenty years ago.
“We are bound to have these challenges because the population that these facilities were constructed for is not the same we have now.”
He said the district health office is increasing the number of days for ARTs and TB services to reduce congestion while searching for funds for news clinics.