The National Organization of Nurses and Midwives says the current power cut and shortages are affecting the country’s health service delivery system.
Executive Director, Dorothy Ngoma, said the country’s health is in crisis reportedly after deaths are reported at t he country’s referral hospitals, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) and Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) because of blackouts.
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.
Ngoma criticised the government for failing to solve the problem.
“There’s people’s lives concerned here,” she said, adding “we are witnessing the worst incident of a crumbling health service delivery system in recent times.”
Speaking on Times Radio, Ngoma said: “ We have cases of premature babies dying in hospitals due to the abscence of power for the incubators and whenever authorities are told about these things, they would ask for names of those children who are dying. I say this is unacceptable.”
She said Malawi nurses and midwives, who are already demotivated by low pay and a bad working environment, are now working in the toughest environment in the country’s history.
“Some nurses and midwives are reported to be using flash lights of their mobile phones in the course of their duties. Imagine a nurse having to do this whilst helping a woman deliver her child,” she said.
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.
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