Kamuzu Central Hospital now ‘death trap’ –Health watchdog

Malawi Health Equity Network executive director Martha Kwataine  has said the health care system  at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe has turned the facility into “a death trap.”

Kwataine:  Situation at KCH worrysome

Kwataine: Situation at KCH worrysome

Doctors at KCH are reportedly diagnosing patients using guess work due to lack of essential equipment and the  hospital’s laboratory equipment is most times not functional.

Kwataine pointed out that people are dying “while waiting for results.”

She said  KCH needs “a complete overhaul.”

Said Kwataine: “We need to equip our district hospitals to have everything and then save lives. Guessing is not right; people can overdose or be given wrong treatment. Why did management have to wait until the situation reached [this level]?”

She was commenting in Nation on Sunday over a report the paper carried a report that diagnosis machines such as the computerised tomography (CT) scan and full blood count (FBC) machine, have not been working consistently at KCH, forcing doctors to guess patient’s ailments or ask them to seek diagnosis from other hospitals.

KCH director Dr. Jonathan Ngoma confirmed the hospital has not been doing full blood counts because its machine has “a calibration problem”.

“The calibrators and controls are not readily available in the country. They have to be ordered specially. At the mean time, we are doing full blood counts at Baylor College within the hospital premises,” Ngoma is quoted as saying.

The Nation on Sunday in an editorial comment said MEHN claims that KCH situation is a “death traps” is a terrifying reality that many might find hard to admit or even discuss.

“There can be no running away from the fact that without essential equipment such as this, KCH is as good as a clinic, whose only difference with other medical facilities is the size and the number of beds in its wards,” reads the editorial comment.

“In any case, a situation such as this one does not just happen in a day. Why was the situation left to deteriorate to this level, when it is a common knowledge the hospital’s services are on high demand?

“The irony, of course, is that while taxpayers are struggling to access treatment, with some obviously dying in the process, those responsible for the mess can easily access treatment in private hospitals elsewhere.”

The paper said there is need for continuous communication and maximum consultation among stakeholders if medical facilities such as KCH are to live by their name.

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Pinford Chirambo

Stupid government

Kwataine please stop blaming your govt. Come up with bailing out options. One would be : Go to NAC and get funds to buy equipment. We see everyone working at NAC driving new cars labelled NAC : Faith Based Response, NAC Police Responce and one driving it takes his/her kids to nursery school, A18 milling ufa, bridal showers etc. Stop buying cars and use the money to buy equipment for hospitals to diagnise the hiv/aids patients with. Probably martha Kwataine should have said, on KCH crisis as death trap, have lobbied assistance from the following: K1Billion from cashgate refunds (Lutepo/… Read more »

True medical personnel and relevant ministries need to deal with this death trap with all urgency, honesty, compassion and professionalism.Human life(capital/resource) is more precious than anything else.It is disheartening therefore to see the so called medical professionals worldwide deliberately killing the very helpless and innocent patients, mothers and babies they are supposed to serve and save.All this in the name of liberalisation from the West,modern lifestyles,mercy killing/death with dignity(euthanasia), women rights/feminism,safe motherhood,population control(eugenics) programmes,freedom of choice(safe abortion/contraceptives/same sex marriages etc).


Corruption is the death sentence of the poor.


Mwana mulomwe pa chiwongolero mumayesa kuyendetsa boma kuli ngati kuyendetsa mulakho shupit nyasi basi


Go and visit the Ethel Muntharika maternity Wing. Check how much women are struggling to give birth due to poor equipment.


Signs of a cursed Nation,and yet some dpp sympathizers will try to justify this as normal i wonder which medical school you went! 50yrs of indepencecy

I sympathise with everyone here but please if you dont know much about medicine do not mislead people. Doctors are not doing guess work its called diffential diagnosis. Based on circumstantial evidence you come up with possible causes to a disease starting with the most likely. 80 percent of the time you are sure of whats going on based on what the patient tells you and after examining them. Tests are there to confirm and sometimes may be misleading. So to martha kwataine please do not mislead people telling them its guess work. Yes we need tests. And maybe people… Read more »
Gabriel Phiri
This is true kungoti mavuto awa si alero ayi. There is a problem of the people who are heading our watchdog groupings. They are too attached to politicians and that is why mavuto amafika pa level ngati imeneyi. Where was Kwataine last year when the QCH Mortuary reached a point of smelling? Anthu awa akungofuna kumatidyera akawapatsa basi akhala chete koma ngati sa wapatsa apitiriza phokoso. Tiyeni tizinena mavuto at an early stage rather than looking at who is ruling. Mapeto ake ndi amenewa ppano madzi afika mkhosi ndiye kuyamba kubwebwetuka ngatidi mukuyimira anthu osauka. Mbala za chabe chabe inu.… Read more »

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