Kwitanda Villagers, FOCUS hails media for bringing positive change towards delivery of health services

Foundation for Community Support Services (FOCUS) and People of Kwitanda Village in the Area of Traditional Authority Nsamala in Balaka District have commended the media for routine investigations and bringing out of some of the bad habits engulfing the health sector.

Munthali: People have a right to quality health services.

with an aim of ensuring that Malawians are provided with quality health service.

This followed a recent visit to Kwitanda Health Centre and four other Health Centres last week which Nyasa Times was part.

During the visits,  it was discovered that some medics are rarely on duty a practice that leaves patients stranded.

Complaints of absenteesim and negligence of duty were reported and took centre stage despite people from communities claom to have liased with the Balaka District Health Office (DHO) to ensure the matter was resolved.

But after a week of broadcast and publishing of stories concerning the challenges communities in rural areas are facing, change has finally been witnessed.

In a telephone interview with Nyasa Times, Vice Chairperson for Kwitanda Health Advisory Committee (HAC) Rose Mwanyali confirmed that things have drastically changed at Kwitanda Health Centre.

Mwanyali said the hospital is now being opened and closed in time and workers are working full time while before the media chiped in to hear their grievances, things were in a mess.

“Following your visit, things have completely changed and the hospital staff are always at the Health Centre in time and we are enjoying a good relationship,” she said.

As one way of encouraging the medical staff, despite the advice they believe the staff were given by officials from Blaka DHO, the HAC are expected to host a special meeting to thank the medical personnel at Kwitanda Health Centre for their rebirth.

Last week, Mwanyali told Nyasa Times that the Health Centre usually opened from 10am Tuesday to Friday noon.

In reaction to the good news, FOCUS Executive Director who threatened to hold a vigil at the health centre during a visit as one way of enforcing change towards the irregularities thanked the media for the tremendous job of reporting hidded issues.

“I should thank the role you media guys have played. In Malawi we have a cultural tendecy  of pretending that things are okay while in actual sense people are suffering. Let people be alert and always make sure they get what they want. It is their right to get quality health
services” Munthali told Nyasa Times.

Among other challenges communities and health workers expressed to Nyasa Times during the visit was shortage of medical staff, poor sanitation and above all lack of maternity.

Meanwhile, FOCUS Director says his organization will leave no stone unturned in making sure that Malawians are accessing quality health services.

“As FOCUS, what we want is that quality health services are sustained,” Munthali concluded.

Random interviews reveals that Malawi continues to face huge and serious health challenges due to under funding of the Ministry of Health.

All this is happening despite Malawi being among the countries that showed committment and signed the Abuja Declaration which requires a country to allocate atleast a minimum of 15% of its annual national budget towards the health sector.

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