Malawi hospitals dangerously understaffed

Malawi health watchdog has issued an unprecedented warning about public hospitals ward staffing levels, saying the high nurse-to-patient ratio is “a ticking time-bomb” for the country.

Kwataine: Malawi hospitals dangerously understaffed

Kwataine: Understaffing in Malawi hospitals cause fir grave concern

Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) executive director, Martha Kwataine, has warned that the understaffing of health workers is unsafe.

Kwataine said research has shown the risk of harm and death increases if a nurse is asked to look after more than eight patients.

According to National Association for Nurses and Midwives in Malawi (Nanm) executive director, Harriet Kapyepye, the ideal number of patients a nurse can serve is 10 in a general ward, one to seven for the labour ward and one to one in the intensive care unit

Statistics released by National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (Nonm) president, Dorothy Ngoma, indicate that at Kamuzu Central Hospital a paediatric ward with 400 patients is assigned five nurses.

At Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital a single nurse tends to 80 or more patients per shift, according to the hospital’s chief administrator Themba Mhango.

And Zomba Central Hospital, chief administrator Thom Chisale disclosed that a nurse is assigned to look after 40 paediatric patients per shift

Kwataines said Ministry of Health should ensure that all hospitals in Mlawi have enough staff to provide safe care, saying understaffing of nurses and doctors could compromise service delivery leading to death of patients.

“The high nurse-patient ratio could lead to loss of lives of Malawians who rely on free medical care in public hospitals due to failure by nurses to provide maximum healthcare service to patients,” Kwataine said as quoted by Weekend Nation.

She persuaded government to encourage training and recruitment of healthcare workers.

Kwataine, however, noted there has been an increase in the number of nurses from 4 500 in 2010 to the current 10 000 — effectively reducing the vacancy rate from 76 percent to 60 percent — to serve a population of about 16 million.

Ministry of Health acting spokesperson, Adrian Chikumbe, government has since increased the intake of nursing students at KCN to seal the gap and introduced nursing courses at Mzuzu University.

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nkhani sikuchepa kwa personnel ayi, koma akutha agalu amenewa ndi edzi.sakhala ngati ozitsata,ena kuthanakuthana ndi ma patient,tabwerani pa Mchinji hospital mudzakhulupilire.

clinical officer wina wa ku department ya mafupa,tiana midzi yonse yozungulira,nde mumati asafe,asachepe.muyambe ndinu kudziletsa komanso ma thiransifa ndi ofunika kwambiri,osati chimunthu omwe chakhalira pamodzi, kuba mkati,tikufuna ochokera muma kolegi kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

sayimoni bayisikolo

Malawi hospitals are killing grounds.Go to Children’s ward and you will be surprised to see 3 kids sleeping on one bed with different illnesses and using dirty beddings for that matter.The diet itself is very horrible.Malawi favours people who have money only.The govt doesn’t care for its people.It only cares at stealing votes.The standards are not up to the scratch.The health sector should jack up in its way of doing things.

dambudzo mwasanya

Malawi health sector is crap.Hospitals are dirty and don’t have medication.Most nurses are rude to patients mainly amakhala ma patient ake ndi amphawi.Amajijilika akamva kuti ndi mwana wa minisitala.Koma amakhala kuti amachokera Ku simchimba area 23 amatuwa ndikugona pa bench.Most are not professionals and do not have work ethics.Ena amakonda kuwulula matenda anthu Ena muma line umu.i

yosefe gambatula.

Kodi Ruth Warren umakonda kutukwana bwanji?I’m a regular Nyasa reader and your language is always rotten.Kaya ndi chamba i don’t know.Your arguments are not constructive.A Warren makaladi ake othimbilira aja aku 49?


Can’t we have a programme to look into issues of economical reproduction? I’m actually perplexed with 500,000 new born babies last year. If we can control the size of our families, we can offset the nurse to patient ratio on the premise than population will be sizable and affordable. JB encouraged safe motherboard, yes, but it has its own consequences. Kwataine, ask your fellow women to secretly use contraceptives to avoid chancing babies.

mulupali mwapuya

kkkkkk I wonder why nurses are so noisy while Doctors do a lot to patients. We have some cadres that are also important but smart such as laboratory, pharmacy, x ray .Too much noise Nom bwanji kodi can you work without these be inclusive please one wanu patient

nsonga ciswe

EE a Ruth warren paja ndinu anamwino eti? Ngati sindinu NDE khalani Crete munadya kale ZANU ndi many anatsakamila Ku US uja. Phuzitsani wanu means adzakhale nesi adzakuuzani. Kkkkk ma business munkanjoya ndi JB akukunenesani ngati mwaphwitha mowa KO Ku …..

ruth warren

wat r u saying empty head? ur the most retarded on da earth u dont know wat ur talking about cunt!!!!

Concerned Citizen

You’re right. everything is in shortfall in our country, nurses, lawyers, teachers etc what shud we do then? bwanji angoyamba kulipiritsa so that we can have no shortfalls any more.


Kodi what are we talking about here. Those benchmarks are very ideal. Some of these organizations have always to say something about shortage in order to survive


Overwhelmed with their work and poorly paid.

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