Health crisis dominate Malawi press: Dialysis unit shuts down at QECH, KCH hit with blood shortage

The crisis in Ministry of Health has dominated the Malawi press  to buttress the fact that the southern African nation  is going through a serious financial squeeze.

Minister of Health, Peter Kumpalume: Crisis
Minister of Health, Peter Kumpalume: Crisis

“QECH dialysis unit ‘shuts down’” was the headline in The Nation, which detailed thatn Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre  has closed down its dialysis unit.

The paper reports that QECH dialysis unit has no reagents, putting lives of patients with renal failure and other kidney problems at risk.

Patients with renal failure and now being ferried  to and from Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe—the only other public hospital with dialysis machines—to access the service.

“here are some reagents that use the procedure, which currently Queens has run out of and what we are doing is to take patients to Kamuzu Central Hospital to access the service and once they are assisted they are taken back to Blantyre. The whole of last week we have been taking patients to KCH.

“We cannot assist the patients, so we just develop a schedule and a [minibus] ferries the patients to Kamuzu Central Hospital for that service,” the daily quoted QECH deputy hospital administrator Chikumbutso Tambala

Tambala  pointed out that the actual procurement of the reagents is done by Ministry of Health and could not guarantee when the services will be back to normal.

The paper also quoted president of Diabetes Association of Malawi, Timothy Mtambalika, who expressed concern that  the development will put lives of diabetic patients at risk as they rely on the machines to clean their kidneys so that they properly function.

“Blood scarcity rocks KCH,” is another headline in The Nation which quotes Mable Chinkhata  the public relations officer at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH)—the country’s second largest referral facility— confirming that thousands of people in need of blood risk dying following the depletion of the hospital’s blood bank.

The paper reports that the development has forced medics at the facility to start rationing, giving just a pint (450millilitres-ml) to an adult in need of blood and 300ml to children in a similar situation regardless of how much blood they need.

Chinkhata  said the hospital is  giving blood  to “patients who really need blood and also those who need blood on emergency cases only.”

She said their only source of getting blood is through Malawi Blood Transfusion Service [MBTS].

“We are giving [the blood] in accordance with how much we are receiving,” she said.

According to the paper, human rights lawyer Chrispine Sibande took to his Facebook account requesting people to go to the facility to donate blood after having a feel of the situation on the ground.

The week, dominated by news of Malawi’s economic woes, also saw headlines on the long queues at Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) as themaize  crisis worsens.

“Arrest crooks reselling Admarc maize—APM,” screamed  another headline quoting President Peter Mutharika’s national address  expressing concern over reports that there is critical shortage of maize at many Admarc depots.

The President  was this week petitioned by a Thyolo-based Social and Economic Justice Organisation (Sejo) to act on soaring maize prices and its scarcity.

In his address, Mutharika ordered police to track down and arrest all “criminal maize vendors” who connive with crooked Admarc officials to purchase subsidised maize at night and resell it to poor citizens at exorbitant prices.

“This is outrageous and most criminal. It is moral recklessness which I am not going to tolerate, or allow to continue. I must warn everyone strongly that such atrocities by criminal Admarc maize vendors have to stop immediately,” the President fumed during an address to the nation.

Mutharika who thanked development partners, including the World Food Programme (WFP), who helped Malawi  in making relief support to those who needed it, e ordered Admarc officials to replenish maize stocks, saying more relief money is available to contain the situation.

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8 years ago

That vehicle which Peter bought from millions of Kwacha of our money has all the facilities we do not have in hospitals. This is selfishness of the highest order. Everybody’s life on earth has equal value, but Peter thinks his life is more valuable. This man is shameless.

Duncan Chifuniro Banda

These pple are unrighteous
These pple are cruel
These pple are unjust
These pple are unconscious
These pple are Lucifer’s children
These pple are bullshit
These pple are immoral
These pple are retrogressive
These pple are unprogressive.
In short they forget Jah is Alive
Kodi opanga diso saona?
Kodi opanga makuto samva?
Do good
Coz God is Good.
Selah ssie I guide & protect mother Malawi.

President Mkango Lion Chivomorezi Chisokonezo Manthakanjenjemereza
President Mkango Lion Chivomorezi Chisokonezo Manthakanjenjemereza
8 years ago

Problem, these minister, MPS and presidents, think they will go to garden city when they get sick. But Malawi lost president Bingu due to lack of cardiac arrest medicine. what a shame. To fulfill the elite thinking mentality, they sent a dead body to South Africa in the name of Daniel Phiri. Another shame. Politician you will never grow old mentally. You think after the accident at Ntcheu, you will go to Garden City. You will go to Ncheu District Hospital where there is no medicine. The Death of Bingu should give us a lesson that lack of medicine is… Read more »

8 years ago

Osauka ndizingofa while others are abusing tax payers money, kugula chibibilamo chodula pomwe ndalama zimenezo zikanathandiza ku chipatala. God have mercy

Honeycomb Chidyauzu
Honeycomb Chidyauzu
8 years ago

This signifies that there is no enough maize is the country as we were told to believe. All the pointers were there that there will be hunger in this country but the country’s leadership was fast asleep. Please supply all ADMARC depots with maize then we wont have any problems with vendors. Someone once said that to running a Gafament is not child’s play. Lero ndi izi. We put kindergatren kids in power.

Chinyama Phiri
8 years ago

the end of bwampini has finally started no food, no medicines, not enough doctors, no equipment, no guts, then it is said he will quit at the end of 2030 what??? this is according to African Independent newspaper

8 years ago

Amidst all this, someone buys a K65 million toilet…

8 years ago

Spend on health. Not the army. thank you. Can then double spending on health.

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