The country’s health is in crisis as evidenced by the death of eight patients due to blackouts at two of the country’s referral hospitals, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) and Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH).
Malawi is currently experiencing critical power outages as the utility provider Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) is failing to generate enough power to meet demand.
And on Tuesday five patients died at QECH while three others lost their lives at KCH due to power failure as the two referral hospitals do not have working standby generators aid patients in time of power outages.
Ministry of health officials have been elusive on the issuer but top officials at the two institutions confirmed to Nyasa Times of the incident.
“Seriously, things are not well. If we are losing patients just like that, consider how many lives will be lost with these continued blackouts,” wondered one of the hospital officials.
The situation is worsening in the country’s hospitals as the health system is facing shortage of drugs including rabies vaccine.
Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) has urged the government to speed up with alternative source of energy in order to avoid loss of lives in country’s hospitals with the continued blackouts which are affecting health services in the country.
MEHN Executive Director, George Jobe, said: “Our observation as a health watchdog is that Malawi is secretly losing lives especially in operation rooms, theatres needs power throughout.”
Jobe appealed to government to complete Kammwamba project with speed in order to help hospitals which are undergoing difficult time especially during at theatre department.
“Imagine someone is undergoing operation at the theatre or is on the life support machine and power goes off, it means those people will die because not every hospital has a standby generator.” said Jobe.
Jobe said that is why as a network they have been calling for adequate budgetary support to Ministry of health in line with Abujah Declaration of 15 Percent.
Currently, Malawi is on 10 Percent which is not enough, according to Jobe.