One person died of cholera on Monday in Machinga whilst seven others were unattended at a health centre in the district after health workers boycotted work to force the government pay them overtime allowances.
Poor sanitation exacerbates the spread of cholera.
Reports from Namanja Health Centre indicate the health workers are not happy with the district health office decision not to pay overtime to health workers who are working round the clock attending to cholra patients.
“The lives of the other seven cholera patients is in danger if the work boycott continues,” said our source at Machinga District Hospital.
He said the workers were irked by comments from the district health officer who simply told the workers they would be dismissed if they went ahead with the boycott.
Machinga District Hospital publicist Clifton Ngozo said the district hospital received the reports of the death of the cholera patient and the boycott of work by the health workers, but said he could not comment as the office was investigating the matter.
At least nine people have since died of cholera in Machinga in the past two months.
The government pays out an overtime allowance to health workers working outside normal working hours and it is known as locum in hospitals.
However the government has drastically cut hospital budgets due to severe financial problems forcing some hospitals to pay the allowance to workers.