Nkhoma Hospital and power utility Escom are now engaged in blame game over the death of four patients who died while on oxygen therapy after a power blackout.
In a letter to Escom, the Nkhoma Synod of the CCAP run hospital says Escom shoud take full responsibility of the recent deaths, saying the oxygen stopped working soon after the electricity went off.
“The patients died due to low oxygen after the electricity went off,” says the letter in part.
Malawi is experiencing acute power shortages with some areas getting just two hours of power.
Escom blames the electricity scarcity due to low levels of water on Shire River.
Nkhoma Hospital has not disclosed the names of those who died but said the hospital spent K1.9 million on diesel for generator in November alone from the previous budget of K500 000 per month.
The hospital therefore says Escom should spare the facility in load shedding activities.
However, Escom’s central region manager Ngwire Mwenifumnbo says in another letter Escom cannot take responsibility of the deaths, saying Escom duly gave notices on load shedding therefore the hospital should have a generator on standby.
Mwenifumbo says it is not possible to spare the hospital in load shedding because the line uses Bunda line unless Escom provides a special line for the hospital which he said currently might not be possible.
This week, a baby was stolen at Kasungu District Hospital when electricity went off.