Malawi Health Equity Network executive director Martha Kwataine has said the health care system at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe has turned the facility into “a death trap.”
Doctors at KCH are reportedly diagnosing patients using guess work due to lack of essential equipment and the hospital’s laboratory equipment is most times not functional.
Kwataine pointed out that people are dying “while waiting for results.”
She said KCH needs “a complete overhaul.”
Said Kwataine: “We need to equip our district hospitals to have everything and then save lives. Guessing is not right; people can overdose or be given wrong treatment. Why did management have to wait until the situation reached [this level]?”
She was commenting in Nation on Sunday over a report the paper carried a report that diagnosis machines such as the computerised tomography (CT) scan and full blood count (FBC) machine, have not been working consistently at KCH, forcing doctors to guess patient’s ailments or ask them to seek diagnosis from other hospitals.
KCH director Dr. Jonathan Ngoma confirmed the hospital has not been doing full blood counts because its machine has “a calibration problem”.
“The calibrators and controls are not readily available in the country. They have to be ordered specially. At the mean time, we are doing full blood counts at Baylor College within the hospital premises,” Ngoma is quoted as saying.
The Nation on Sunday in an editorial comment said MEHN claims that KCH situation is a “death traps” is a terrifying reality that many might find hard to admit or even discuss.
“There can be no running away from the fact that without essential equipment such as this, KCH is as good as a clinic, whose only difference with other medical facilities is the size and the number of beds in its wards,” reads the editorial comment.
“In any case, a situation such as this one does not just happen in a day. Why was the situation left to deteriorate to this level, when it is a common knowledge the hospital’s services are on high demand?
“The irony, of course, is that while taxpayers are struggling to access treatment, with some obviously dying in the process, those responsible for the mess can easily access treatment in private hospitals elsewhere.”
The paper said there is need for continuous communication and maximum consultation among stakeholders if medical facilities such as KCH are to live by their name.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :