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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30 thoughts on “Kamuzu Central Hospital now ‘death trap’ –Health watchdog”

  1. BEAM says:


  2. kwabaniso says:

    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/ Kasambala / Senzani / Mphwiyo / Sitole etc ..etc. Not just accusing your govt. Please go and read OBAMA’s books to learn what leadership is all about

  3. Mauya says:

    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).

  4. womenslib says:

    Corruption is the death sentence of the poor.

  5. Namihavani says:

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

  6. Alungwana says:

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

  7. Blessing says:

    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

  8. Papa says:

    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 think treating patients is easy pitani kunjako mukaone even with resources patients still die. So most of the time its not to do with a diagnosis but there alot of compounding factors including personnel, medications etc…

  9. Gabriel Phiri says:

    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. Ndalama za mankwala zili mmanja mwa cashgaters . Ngatidi muli othandiza anthu ovutika alankhulireni pa njira zomwe boma litsate kuti ndalama za nkhaninkhani zomwe JB and her clue adaba zibwerere boma ligulire zipangizo za kuchipatala. For your own information mavutowa si ku KCH kokha but you want to be giving partial information, why?

  10. man says:

    akuluakulu our money is with these cashgaters why is the government taking longer to bring back our money. the auditors from UK have given you all the information concerning
    these monsters, why are you taking long to take our billions back to normalise the situation at our hospital. kenaka tinena kuti ndinu a boma amene mukupha anthu in our hospitals through sabotage . kaya mukufuna kubisana but you should know the truth will prevail

  11. dada says:

    Corruption is the route cause of all this. Central Medical Stores needs reform. Its too much for the govt to be controlling everything. Please privatise some of these roles. Malawi is sliding into a cliff.

  12. Doctor says:

    God Is Watching Us From The Distance………….

  13. Yuri says:

    KCH only? i feel Malawi is becoming a death trap on its own!

  14. dorro bucci says:

    hahah tiyeni ana tiziwauza zoona kusukulu azikaphunzira azikatenga wisdom

  15. machendy says:

    this is why last week, when you were all going crazy about an engineering professor, i asked “what exactly do malawian engineers do? what do they know? do they learn relevant subjects? can they really fix anything? are they just a waste of taxpayers money?”

    as far as i know, a primary school child in japan can calibrate a machine, maybe even make one, yet people are dying ku kch after 50 years of graduating our engineers.

    by now, polytechnic should have been self sufficient with windmills and solar panels for power, water purification systems with pumps to draw water from naperi river ( ili kuseli kwa school yanuyo) electrical, and mechanical and motor vehicle workshops for external clients…imagine how much money they could make!

    m’mayiko ena, university amayitenga ngati company ndikumadya money… bumbaclaat

    1. Bamusi Chinsinga says:

      dreaming in colour!

  16. fkr says:

    A family member of mine died at KCH recently. There was no oxygen as someone had stolen the pipes. The power was off etc. It was a joke of a hospital and a disgrace to Malawi. Government will never be able to run anything but more importantly is the ingrained immorality in people who steal public assets which ends up causing death that is in my mind murder.

  17. Nabanda says:

    True, the situation is so pathetic. I lost my beloved Mum at the institution before we knew the results of her ailment. Something needs to be done, please!!

  18. aboma mukuchulutsa madrama utsilu umenewo simuma yenera kupanga kumbali ya dzaumoyo, zoona KCH kumasowa zipangidzi? Mumanganiza bwanji

  19. Tiko says:

    Most DHOS are referring simple cases to central hospitals becoz they themselves are very lazy, yet central hospitals have no necessary materials and equipments than even some district hospitals. Yes, there is need for civil service reforms.

  20. Man K says:

    That is pathetic shame on the authorities guys be serious don’t forget we are the ones who voted for you into power

  21. Moya says:

    civil service reform could have started with hospitals to save lives.The people doing the reforms all go to private hospitals and have health insurance they have no clue how nurses and doctors are demotivated and overwhelmed by patients in public hospitals plus lack of medicine. People die when clearly negligence is the main cause. Poverty in malawi is an express ticket to the grave

  22. Kadzibwa says:

    Our leaders pliz chonde tamakhalani ngati ndinu a Malawi.

  23. lumbadzi says:

    Kwataine, how long will will it dawn on your empty brain that ALL services require funding, Kwataine, ALL funding requires a source, Kwataine, sources could be tax revenue generated or donor-supplemented-or both. Now, Kwataine, (please be patient), if there is no locally derived revenue capacity to fulfill these needs what is the alternative? Begging. Nothing else.. Now how do we beg? We need to to fulfill the donor conditions that ALL cashgate miscreants are brought to book and the ALL the money recovered. Kwataine, now that is a difficult hurdle. Why, Kwataine? Because both the ACB and the Judiciary are on strike holding the govt. hostage because of selfish more pay demands. Kwataine,now let me ask you in your considered and NGO-acquired wisdom, how exactly is this supposed to be solved? Kwataine, please take time and think about this. Kwataine- i know you have ALL the solutions- please assist.

  24. Vyachalo says:

    Malawian waste time to discuse about politics than developments.

  25. Nancy says:

    Malawi as a nation we are a joke? we need serious reform,are we a disgrace to the world?i feel pitty for Malawian children and the generation to come…..am sorry…..

  26. ambuje says:

    peter is dozing off,ankawona ngati kuyendetsa boma ndi uphunzitsi ndi zofanana

  27. Nankungwi says:

    How is the sotuation suppesed to be corrected when the budgeting for the ministry is so poor?

    1. Pa Easy says:

      Is it budgeting or funding?

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