Health officials in Mwanza have expressed concern over the high rate of Mozambicans seeking medical treatment in the border district saying they have overwhelmed health service delivery.
District Health Officer Raphael Piringu said out of four patients referred to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, two or three are Mozambicans and out of the 150 women at the maternity wing, 15 to 20 per cent are Mozambicans and close to half of the admissions are Mozambicans and 20 to 25 per cent of patients at out of patients department are Mozambicans.
“We are overwhelmed, we are overstretched because when we are doing our budgets for the hospital, we do not include Mozambicans. But we cannot chase them away,” he said.
He said it is impossible to chase away the Mozambican patients because it is not easy to differentiate between a Malawian from a Mozambican.
Piringu however said the introduction of national IDs in 2018 will enable authorities give health services strictly to Malawians and the Mozambicans will be forced to pay for health services.
He attributed the influx of Mozambicans to Mwanza due the long distance they would cover to get to a health facility in their country and the boom in population in Mozambiue.
Health officials in Dedza and Mulanje have expressed similar concern.
Health minister Peter Kumpalume promised the government would take up the issue with the government of Mozambique.