Some district health officers have indicated they would require aÂ completely new set of Indoor Residual Sprayers (IRS) when the second round ofÂ indoor spraying campaign begins in October.Â On the other hand, members ofÂ the Health Sector Wide Approach, (SWAp) are waiting for an Anti-CorruptionÂ Bureau (ACB) report after Ministry of Health asked them to investigate how aÂ tender to supply indoor residual spray equipment was awarded to Mulli Brothers,Â who ended up supplying wrong gear.
Â â€œDonors, who provide directÂ financial support to the health sector, identified concerns in relation toÂ procurement at the end of 2010. We are aware that the Ministry of HealthÂ reported the issue to the ACB, but we are not aware of any report yet from theÂ bureau,â€ said DfID programme manager Andrew Massa.Â DfID is current SWApÂ chairperson.Â The wrong equipment supplied byÂ Mulli Brothers adversely affected the IRS campaign aimed to fight malaria underÂ the Malaria Control Programme.Â One of the heavily affectedÂ districts is Karonga where the district health officer (DHO) received 260 pumpsÂ and 160 of them require repairs.Â â€œA hundred of them would requireÂ minor maintenance, but 60 need total replacement,â€ said DHO Dr. Michael KayangeÂ in an interview.Â â€œMost of them broke down duringÂ training and some during the exercise. The problem is that they procured wrongÂ nozzles and even if we still used them, they didnâ€™t do the job as requiredÂ because they are not meant for wall spraying,â€ he added.Â His sentiments were echoed byÂ Nkhata Bay district environmental officer Ojohn Mpoha, who said, â€œThe type ofÂ pumps purchased were not durable and not meant for indoor spraying.Â Nkhata Bay received 210 pumps,Â but 139 of them are down.Â â€œHundred were taken by MulliÂ Brothers for maintenance, 110 are with us, but 39 of them are not working.
TheyÂ have faults. At least our friends in Nkhotakota have durable pumps,â€ he said.Â Nkhotakota and Salima wereÂ supplied pumps by Chemonics International during the IRS pilot phase.Â Nkhata Bay plans to start theÂ second round of IRS on October 2 2012, ahead of the rains when malariaÂ mosquitoes breed more.Â â€œWe hope to have all pumpsÂ working by October 1; otherwise, it will be disaster,â€ he said.Â In Nsanje, DHO Dr. Medson MatchayaÂ suggests that decentralising management of such health services as IRS wouldÂ help curb procurement malaise like in the Mulli Tender.Â Karonga, Nkhata Bay, Mangochi,Â Chikhwawa and Nsanje received sprayers from a consignment supplied by MulliÂ Brothers in a K250 million deal currently being queried by donors.
Â According to Health MinistryÂ spokesperson Henry Chimbali, respective districts will pay for the repairs ofÂ the broken-down sprayers from their budget allocations.Â Malaria Control ProgramÂ manager Doreen Ali acknowledged the pumps supplied were not according toÂ specifications.