Kapoloma residents push for removal of ‘doctor’ for ill-treating patients

Communities surrounding Nainunje Health Centre which is in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Kapoloma in Malawi’s southern district of Machinga are calling for the removal of a Medical Assistant (MA) at the medical facility Thoko Makina for allegedly ill-treating patients and guardians.

One of the concerned people, Jeffrey Mpwaha a resident of Mwamlima Village T/A. Chiwalo in the district told Nyasa Times that Makina tends to report for duties at the time of his choice.

“This gentleman is not helping us here, you see this is something past two, but I am coming back from clinic without getting the treatment because he has already knocked off. I tried to liaise with him that I should be treated but he has told me that I should come again the next morning,” explained Mpwaha who looked so weak with suspected malaria.

Mpwaha said he did not know what to do as he was feeling painful and Nainunje Health Centre is the only nearest and public health facility.

Makina; Under fire from residents
Makina; Under fire from residents

Tuweni Matutila a resident of Mtimbuka Village T.A. Kapoloma in the district, asked the ministry officials to take a disciplinary action against Makina saying that he spends most of his time playing football and that sometimes he even leave patients in his consultation room to play football.

“These are not speculations. Last week he left us on the benches. We thought he was at his house for a meal or has gone to the toilet but it took me five minutes to believe what I saw when I came out of clinic. I saw him doing some physical exercise at the nearby football ground in readiness for football training,” Matutila said.

Another member Livenness James of Mchelera village concurred with Matutila claiming that Makina choose a wrong carrier.  She said Makina chose a delicate profession which needs compassion, patience and empathy because it deals with life of human beings.

Traditional Authority Kapoloma confirmed that she has been receiving such complaints from many patients.

“I have been receiving such complaints but I have advised them to keep their patience as we all know that many medical personnel refuse to work in rural areas like here,” said T.A. Kapoloma.

She however said Makina just need some disciplinary action from the ministry of health officials but not removing him from the health centre.

“I love Makina; I take him as my child because he is here for me and my subjects. That’s why I am against the idea of removing him from the health centre because in doing so is like we are transferring the problem to other people.  But I would advise the ministry official to sit down with him for the betterment of my people,” said T.A. Kapoloma.

Makina said those people who are speaking against him are doing so because of hatred saying he knows that some people there do not want him there for the reasons he said could not understand.

Nainunje Health Centre was constructed under the initiative of the former president Bakili Muluzi and has the catchment area of about 45,000 people.

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