Water shortages and erratic electricity supply continue to cripple health delivery services at Ntchisi District Hospital where patients spend up to three hours daily without water and power.
The revelation was made on Friday during the symbolic handover of medical supplies, equipment and furniture worth K46 million (about $115 000) to be used in the country’s public health facilities.
The supplies, which include blood pressure apparatuses, stethoscopes, thermometers, weighing scales and furniture, will be distributed to 85 facilities in seven districts.
“While we appreciate efforts by government and partners like The Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric Aids Foundation (Egpaf), who jointly with the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PepFar) and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are making the donation today, there are two challenges that the district hospital continues to face since the past five years.
“Of course, we do acknowledge that power outages and intermittent water supplies are challenges that all parts of the country continue to face.
“However, we seek help as we are the most hit considering that almost everyday, we do not have these two essential commodities,” explained the district health officer Webster Chirambo.
He said the situation becomes tricky when patients are in the theatre or labour ward and there is a blackout.
“We have standby generators which partly supply electricity to the hospital. But this is not enough,” said Chirambo.
But Deputy Minister of Health Agnes Mandevu Chatipwa promised to look into the matter.
“I will talk with my minister and principal secretary on how we can look into the problem. However, I cannot explicitly say as to when the problem will be dealt with,” she explained.
Egpaf Malawi director Nicole Buono said: “The supplies will help provide high-quality HIV and health services and proper care for pregnant women and their families.