Minister of Health and Population, Atupele Muluzi has clarified reports that four babies died at Kamuzu Central Hospital on Christmas Day because of blackout, saying findings have proved that the deaths could not be linked to the power outage.
In a statement issues on Wednesday, Muluzi confirmed the deaths of two babies but reject press report that alleged deaths occurred during a power cut because the hospital had run out of diesel to run its back-up generator.
On Wednesday December 27, The Daily Times published an article that claimed that four babies died as a result of a loss of power at the Kamuzu Central Hospital.
Muluzi instructed the Secretary for Health and Population, Dr Dan Namarika to conduct an investigation into the issue.
He said according to the findings, one child died upon admission to the hospital and the other died while on oxygen whose cylinders do not use electricity.
“The investigation revealed that through 24 hours of Christmas Day (25 December) two babies tragically died at Kamuzu Hospital. The first died because of a severe case of Malaria and the second was suffering a medical condition that tragically was diagnosed too late to be treated. The investigation showed that neither death was caused because of the loss of any power,” Muluzi explained in a statement.
The investigation further established that through the 24 hours of Christmas Day, Kamuzu Central Hospital indeed did suffer a loss of power for ” approximately 10 minutes” and said “unfortunately” the back up generator failed to cover this period.
According to the statement, during that time of power outage “no deaths were recorded” at the hospital.
“Any loss of life is a tragedy, particularly those of young children, however there was very little that the medical team could have done to save either child despite the professionalism that they showed caring for both patients,” said Muluzi.
“I hope that the families of both children will accept the sincere condolences of all in the Malawi medical service and I hope we can respect their privacy at this tragic time,” he added.
And Namarika also said “100Kw of solar power from the recent Global Fund grant will be installed at KCH ear budsly in January. While this is not a total solution it will go some way to supporting the hospital with its future power needs.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :