Health officials in Karonga the northern border district of Malawi have suspended service delivery at Mlare Health Centre because the sole Medical Assistant is on holiday .
The development has put lives of the surrounding community at risk, who are now traveling over 20 kilometers journey to access health services at Nyungwe health center or Karonga main hospital.
Confirming the development, the area health advisory committee Vyanangika Mkwala said the health center was closed since 20th October this year.
Mkwala told Nyasa Times that they have been hunting for an explanation from the authority but to no avail.
“It is true the facility is closed down. We don’t know what to do because there is only one Medical Assistant.. The authorities are failing to help us,” he said.
Mkwala said it is even worse with pregnant mothers and other seriously ill patients who require immediate attention.
“We reported the matter to the Assistant Health Service Administrator, but he said they would sit down and come back to us. Up to now there is no response,” Mkwala said.
While failing to deny the development, Karonga district health officer Phinias asked for more time to find out more on the issue.
During the previous interface meeting organized by Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation on health governance issues, it was noted that there is shortage of health workers in most health facilities across the district.
District Coordinator for CHRR in Karonga, Gracian Mbewe, said it was pathetic to close down the health centre because the worker is on holiday.
“It is very pathetic. People are being denied their right to access health services which is not good. As CHRR, we are going to meet the DHO to ensure a health worker is sent to Mlare to help the people.
“We plead with the government to recruit more nurses to send them to health centres because communities are failing to access services due to shortage of workers,” Mbewe said.-Additional reporting by Leonard Masauli, ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :