AIDS network wary with suspension of health workers in Malawi over US funds

The suspension of sixty-three Ministry of Health (MoH) workers could impact negatively on those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, the Malawi Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS (Manet+) fears.

Mbewe: Concerned

Mbewe: Concerned

Government suspended the workers following allegations of embezzlement of millions of dollars of US funds sent for fighting HIV and AIDS.

The suspension includes both senior as well as junior workers including drivers.

Commenting on the development, Manet+ executive director Safari Mbewe noted that while his organisation does not condone corruption, “it is important to note that government should ensure that there is no disruption in the response to HIV and AIDS.”

Officials at MoH confirmed to Nyasa Times that the Ministry indeed carries out HIV and AIDS supervisory activities every three months.

Another round of supervision was scheduled to take place from January 6 next year.

“This is the activity which determines the smooth running of the ART [anti-retroviral therapy] programme because it has a long checklist which are pinned against the hospital to fulfil but as I’m speaking to you I don’t think there will be any of such an activity,” an official said. She could not be identified as she is not authorised to speak to the media.

Meanwhile, Mbewe has urged government that all mechanisms should be put in place to allow supervision to take place.

“We’re watching them, and we will not condone any disruption as far as HIV and AIDS is concerned,” said Mbewe.

The suspension of the workers is the first record number of civil servants to be suspended in the country.

Health Minister Peter Kumpalume said government suspended senior officials from the health ministry’s finance, human resources and HIV and AIDS departments were “suspended to allow auditors to investigate and audit the accounts.”

Malawi has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world, straining the healthcare system and economy. It has trimmed the national HIV prevalence rate from over 12 percent in 2004 to 10 percent in 2014.

Kumpalume said the stolen money ran into “millions”, adding that the US-funded Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had written the ministry to complain that they suspected civil servants from the HIV and AIDS project were defrauding the government.

US ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, said she hoped the authorities “will identify those responsible and that they will be held fully accountable for the misuse of funds intended to improve the health of Malawian citizens.”

Prosecutors have in the past said one third of Malawi’s government revenue is lost through fraud.

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Palikanthu
Guest

Nobody analyses and writes like raphael tenthani anymore. I miss his muckering self! RIP my dear brother

Ronaldinho
Guest

Employ new College of Medicine graduates in their places. It is now 3 years the Government is not employing any laboratory graduate from Colleg of Medicine. Why were they trained!

ruth warren
Guest

Please probe the HIV/AIDS unit in its entirety starting with the director agalu amenewa are fond of pocketing allowances without going to field!! Stop stealing and start working!!!

psatapsata
Guest

achitabwino kwambiri,bcz apezetseko ena mwayi wa ntchito awutayawo.osanganiza kut ntchito zikusowa ai,anthu ambiri akungokhala ndi ma certificate awo.chosecho ntchito analowera corruption chifukwa cha abale awo ma interview opanga anthu ena.takazisungeni zimenezo.tisazawoneso mudziko lathu lantendeleli.

Mphwephwa ya professor
Guest
Mphwephwa ya professor

My fellow good readers. I don’t think the organization is concerned with the suspension of the evil people.In fact, I hope, it is happy that authorities want to instill discipline. Mr Mbewe just want to remind authorities to make sure that there is workforce back-up so that there is no disruption of service provision. Comprehension iyi. Choncho tingamve zolemba William Shakespeare? Bwanji kodi?

Dwambazi
Guest

How about the First Lady? Will she be nabbed too. We all know she accepted money from NAC for her organization. Lets not have double standards!!!!

GRM
Guest

Because they are juniors. Tisamaname that we are fighting corruption.

Prince Edward rsa
Guest

Even hule laku state house linabanso ndalama za NAC so others akaba azichosedwa ntchito?

Said mondwe
Guest

Why govt not employ HTC Counselors to deal with Hiv/aid programe ? All senior boss misuse money but they are not dealing with HIV/AIDS.

WUCHINDELE NKHUKHUMBA YAYI
Guest
WUCHINDELE NKHUKHUMBA YAYI
This kind of concern doesnt hold.If ministry cant implement the activity because the people participating were involved in financial scum which is a very serious case,so be it.To allow them to partipate will be a sign of lack of commitment to fight corruption and cash gate. I dont think it will take forever to conclude the case and untill then I suggest that DHOs through their HTC/ART/PMTCT coordinators have to be delegated to supervise .After all I dont see the major reason or concern to decentralise these activities other than fear of losing opportunity to access allowances by the gurus… Read more »
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