Communities around Golomoti Health Centre in Traditional Authority (TA) Kachindamoto in Dedza have accused the facility’s staff of gross negligence in the provision of healthcare.
Files Sikweya, from Khalira Village Traditional Authority Kachindamoto told journalists during their tour at the facility that clinicians go out for beer drinking leaving patients unattended to.
She said sometimes guards on duty abandon their job to support women and girls in labour.
“Most of the times we just find guards and women usually deliver with the help of guardians at the expense of the nurses,” moaned Sikweya who accompanied one of the expectant mothers at the facility.
Sikweya said just days before the interview with YFM online a child had died at the facility after not being attended to.
“Just yesterday a child died here because the clinician came late. The child was brought here at 6 a.m. but the clinic was opened at 9 a.m. The child was critically ill,” she said.
Upon visiting the facility, YFM online found patients desperately waiting for help as there was no one to attend to them.
When quizzed on the unavailability of the medical staff, the facility’s Health Advisory Committee (HAC) Vice Chairperson, Brenda Dengu, told YFM online that the Medical Assistants had gone for a meeting at the District Health Office (DHO).
Dengu expressed concern that the tendency by the DHO always compromises provision of healthcare at the facility.
“The problem is that the DHO normally takes all our doctors to meetings and this creates a gap in as far as attending to patients is concerned,” she said.
She however denied the allegation that sometimes guards attend to pregnant women in labour.
Dedza District Health Officer (DHO), Dr Solomon Jere had to come in to the rescue of the deserted patients by talking to the team on the ground to start helping patients.
When commenting on the alleged negligence by the hospital staff, Dr Jere said the issue will be investigated.
Dengu disclosed that two additional clinicians have been posted to the facility and he expect the situation to change.
The tour which took a group of journalists to a number of areas in Machinga and Dedza districts was organized by Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) through Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) Social Accountability project.
YONECO is implementing the project in partnership with Parent and Child Health Initiative (PACHI) and Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) in Nkhata Bay, Dowa, Dedza, Machinga and Zomba districts.
The project is being funded by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).