Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume has taken it upon himself to investigate serious allegations that medical personnel at Kasungu District Hospital rejected a blood donation of 100 people because there was no allowance.
This was after 100 youths of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church central region travelled to the district hospital to donate blood as part of the commemoration of Global Youth Day.
Pastor Chauncy Mchewere Banda, SDA youth coordinator for the centre confirmed they were turned back at the hospital on Sunday.
“We had made prior arrangements to have the youth donate their blood but when we arrived there, we were told the hospital had no money for allowances. Hospital job is a calling, they should put lives of people first and issues of money later,” he said.
He said he had no choice but return the youths to their bases, disappointed though.
Kumpalume said if it is true that people were turned away before donating blood because of allowance issues, then the ministry would take disciplinary measures.
“This is unacceptable. People should be encouraged to donate blood not discouraged to donate blood this time when blood banks are running dry,” he said.
He vowed to investigate the matter.
Malawi Equity Health Network executive director George Jobe said he was shocked and saddened by the news.
“Malawi is talking about shortage of blood and here we are with people frustrating blood donors, this is shocking,” he said.
The hospital district health officer could not be reached for comment but one member of staff said there might have been communication break down between the hospital and the blood donors.
Last year the country failed to reach the needed 80000 blood units for hospitals.
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