Malawi doctor vows to defend charges of disclosing woman’s HIV status

Medical practitioner Dr Albert Mkandawire will fight to prove his innocence and has received the support of the Medical Council of Malawi (MCM after a Blantyre –based woman (name shielded), applied  to court for to prohibit him from publicising her HIV status.

Dr Mkandawire vows to clear his name

Dr Mkandawire vows to clear his name

The woman asked the court’s relief  against the doctor from physically and verbally abusing her and an order was given to Mkandawire  not to engange”in publicising her sero-status, interfering with her friends on social media and preventing her from going to work comfortably.

Mkandawire , currently working as Nkhata Bay district health officer (DHO),  said he is deeply upset with the accusation, and he denies  exposing the woman’s HIV status and abusing her.

The medical practitioner argues that docctors are bound by a duty of confidentiality to their patients but this is not absolute.

He states that  doctor should discuss how the patient can prevent transmission of HIV to his partner, for example, safe sex including consistent use of condoms and use of post-exposure prophylaxis.

Furher, Mkandawire argues that if the doctor has concerns that the patient is practising unsafe sex with a partners and has not disclosed the status, then the medical personel can justify breaching confidentiality and disclosure in the public interest (if failure to disclose may expose others to risk of death or serious harm).

HIV infected  people are encouraged to disclose their statis to any sexual partner and must use protection in sexual intercourse.

Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust (Wlsa-Malawi) filed the application on behalf of the woman on March 9 2016.

Medical Council of Malawi (MCM) conducted an investigation on October 20 2015 and is expected to testify when the matter comes up for hearing.

The findings of the probe—titled ‘An Investigation Report on Allegations that Dr Mkandawire Violated [name withheld] Right to Privacy and Confidentiality by Revealing her Medical Conditions to Friends and Partners without her Consent’—was submitted to the council’s registrar on November 30 2015.

The purpose of the investigation was to establish whether allegations that Dr Mkandawire was involved in unprofessional conduct against the woman resulting in psychological trauma were valid and also to establish whether the medical doctor violated the doctor-patient relationship.

The Nation quoted the Council report  which it reports that n the woman, upon a friend’s recommendation, met Dr Mkandawire at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre for medical assistance.

During the consultations, Dr Mkandawire suspected her of having tuberculosis (TB) on top of the existing HIV status, alleges the report.

The doctor then allegedly inquired if the woman had a boyfriend to relieve her of stress to which she replied that her husband died in 2010.

Later, according to MCM, the two started a romantic relationship for two years until Dr Mkandawire was posted to Nkhata Bay District Hospital.

The report alleges that when the woman visited the doctor after some time, she claims to have discovered that he had a new girlfriend, which led to a quarrel between the woman and the doctor.

The woman ended up going to Nkhata Bay Police Station officer-in-charge who advised her to return to her base in Blantyre, according to the MCM report.

In the report, the woman alleges that after some time, she received a phone call from Dr Mkandawire’s alleged girlfriend mocking her about her HIV status.

Later, after Dr Mkandawire had left for Egypt in November 2015, the two started sending each other abusive short message service (SMS) texts, says the report.

The woman accuses Dr. Mkandawire of revealing what the MCM report calls “too much information” to the new girlfriend.

Mkandawire told the investigative team that he never “exposed” the woman.


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22 thoughts on “Malawi doctor vows to defend charges of disclosing woman’s HIV status”

  1. zondiwe says:

    It is not ethical for a doctor to date his patient. The Doctor must be disciplined and not defended. There is nothing to defend in this behaviour.

  2. Tony says:

    No integrity.. Lack of professionalism and primitive typical African uneducated behavior!..

  3. Sir Hb says:

    the issue is not about breach of confidentially but rather anger due to a failed love affair.

  4. Judge judy says:

    Only in Malawi ndithu. kusaopa edzi anthu inu, mpake mungofa ngati nkhuk.. doctor who is supposed to give hiv advice naye angosoka ngati galu. naye medical council full of rotten people like Dr Mkandawire and no wonder they are backing him. No ethics at all in Malawi and yet you tout yourself as God fearing.

    1. Most Africa both men and women don’t review heir HIV status. They lie because they eat ARV in secret. Its bad. I have said to myself no dating an African man for the reason they lie. The ones who are afraid of their lives they ask a new girlfriend to go for testing together. Its better that way. When I met my husband a white we went for test, he said if you have I will still love u and we will get married. And he asked me what will I do if he has I said the same. We were negative. We have 3healthy children. Nodding is what is killing people in Malawi. People are still dying despite ARVs. But not in Europe. I have many African friends with positive one can not see if their positive. Some tell and its alright. It is sad to die young and on the day of funeral people guess because they don’t tell the cause of death. Also lying when people can see the truth.

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  6. The Patriot says:

    Once this woman started having a romantic relationship with the good doctor, the issue of doctor-patient relationship ended there. As it is, the issue is now about a love triangle where one woman feels used and abused an d wants to get back at the good doctor for dumping her!!!
    Her aim is for the good doctor to suffer for dumping her for another woman. My advice to this widow with a hidden HIV status and a hidden name is please learn to let go, ife amuna ena tilipo…Leave the good doctor alone to enjoy the new girlfriend and then dump her again…..and if the other new girlfriend asks about his past girlfriends he should reveal that he had a relationship with you for public health sake!!!

  7. Yakobo says:

    I know the whole story. Its not what is written. Ask me.

  8. Mapwevupwevu says:

    Madokotala a chitumbuka ndi choncho!

  9. The Analyst says:

    This just shows that the Medical Council of Malawi has no integrity at all . . .
    . . . how would the Council want to defend a doctor who clearly childishly breached the confidentiality vow?
    Even the alibi that the disclosure was done to protect others from the HIV-positive woman, is empty..
    . . . Who are these others the doctor is trying to protect? yet he himself is a customer of this woman’s goods and services?
    . . . And how does the doctor claim to want to protect others, and fail to protect himself from the same woman? Clearly this doctor is also HIV positive.
    Being HIV-positive and reckless, this doctor is a huge risk to female patients in Malawi . . .
    . . . he well knows he’s HIV positive and would stop at nothing to see to it that he spreads the virus to almost every female patient who crosses his path; even those already infected.
    . . . And any Council (with the slighest amount of integrity), would want to protect patients; not defending such an evil-minded man.
    . . . Otherwise, HIV/AIDS will continue to haunt us, despite all efforts to contain it.
    Female patients, beware!

  10. paul says:

    the doc violated the patient – doctor trust; in just as teachers cannot be in a relationship with their students. he has certainly been careless enough to violate the doctor-patient trust again by disclosure of patient info. leaking such details to a new girlfriend does not amount to a duty of care to the wider population. there is vested interest beneficiary only to him. he should get struck off!

    1. MCM Registrar says:

      Precisely, in fact this is not a professional doctor-patient relationship issue. This is an issue of “sour grapes” between lovers, only that one of them happens to be a doctor. The ethical issue here is that the doctor developed a relationship with his patient – but that’s not what the woman has gone to court for, however this is what the medical council will be defending if indeed they are going to defend the gentleman involved!

  11. gulugunya says:

    Dr A.M the rapist, are you still womanizing? You are a bit of childish. You can reveal somebody’s status.I know you when you were a student at MOC. You even raped hanari. So you will be associated with sexual related issues for ever.Madokotala mumaona zambiri monga abwititi ndiyenso mufuna muziulura.

    1. Dr. Ben Phiri, PhD says:

      I think Albert Mkandawire, B.Sc., (Occupational Therapy), M.B.B.S is not a rapist. Anthuwa amanyengana atagwirizana. The issue of revealing HIV status is debatable and possibly winnable. He can win it

  12. Bestie says:

    Koma guys. Nkhani zina ukamva kumangoseka. Nonsenu muli ndi AIDS. Ndiye kumasekana? Please dont waste the courts time. We want stories of cashgate at the courts and not such stupid confontations.

  13. Mavu Aluma says:

    I think the most foolish person here is Dr. Mkandawire. He knew that the woman was HIV positive and he started going with her. This means Dr. Mkandawire is also HIV Positive. So what was the use of telling the other woman about HIV when all the three are HIV positive. This story can be summarized as a story of very stupid people. And the most stupid and idiot of them all is Dr. Mkandawire. Dr. Mkandawire is HIV POSITIVE and his new girlfriend is HIV POSITIVE. So what was the use insulting each other on HIV???? Very stupid trio.

    1. Dr. Ben Phiri, PhD says:

      It does not work in that way. If one is virologically surpressed chances are that, HIV can not be transmitted. Above all, who knows he was using condoms

      1. Sir Hb says:

        well said Dr. Ben

      2. Tony says:

        Dr Ben Phiri Phiri (clearly not a Medical PHD)
        Having a pen HIV undetected status does not mean the virus is not present and cannot be transmitted..
        Using a condom is considered safer sex.. Additionally, condoms can break during sex.. The only 100% protection is abstinence!

        Where did you get your PHD? Actually I know it’s in Malawi

        PHD – Pull Him Down.. Let us not forget that Malawi is the Jealousy Capitol of Africa and the world

  14. Bikitoni says:

    Mayiyu ndiwokonda boilo heavy andiye akufuna azichita mwaufulu nkumafalitsa matendawo

  15. mwanadala says:

    Dokotala amafuna kumapha nkhawa za patient? kkkkk..

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