By: Thula Chisamba
Latest inquest conducted by this publication has established that most public hospitals in Malawi are running short of essential drugs and other apparatuses.
Official documents leaked to this publication unveils that some public hospitals across the northern region are operating without adequate drugs, including the antimalarial drug.
As of Monday, authorities at Mzuzu Central Hospital revealed the shortage of a dialysis machine for patients with kidney failure.
“We can’t help such patients and we refer them to other private hospitals,” said Frank Banda, publicist for the facility.
He confided with The Malawi Star that the problem of drug shortage has deprived patient’s rights and they are forced to seek medical attention in private pharmacies.
Although, the government barred District Health Officials (DHOs) from leaking plights faced in their respective hospitals to the media, some confirmed the worse drug shortage in government-run hospitals.
Speaking to this publication Minister of Health, Peter Kumpalume attributed the rampant drug theft in public hospitals.
“This does not mean that government doesn’t buy drugs, but the main challenge we have is drug theft. In fact, we spend about seven billion annually due to the same problem,” he said.
Kumpalume further indicate that government has put in different measures to expose drug theft and ensure that they are brought to book.
However, Malawi Healthy Equity Network (MHEN) leader, George Jobe, emphasized the need to eradicate the drug theft in government hospitals.
He urged Malawians to take a leading role in a war against the malpractice.
“Another thing is that government must guarantee that tipsters will be secured because most Malawians fear to expose corrupt,” said Jobe.