A total of 12 health facilities across the country under Christian Health Association of Malawi (Cham) are on the verge of closing down due to lack of funds for staff salaries, while one of them already closed in August.
Cham and the government work through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in which, among other things, the government supports staff salaries and service level agreement, allowing the poor to access free health services.
Cham Executive Director Happy Makala told The Daily Times that the 12 health facilities under threat were jointly assessed by the Ministry of Health and the Directorate of Human Resources Management and Development.
Makala said that the government was yet to come in, yet some of the facilities became operational two years ago.
He said Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in Mangochi, with a catchment area of 16,000 service users and located about 76 kilometres from Mangochi Boma, closed in August this year.
“As if that is not enough, Child Legacy, one of the beautiful Cham health facilities in Msundwe, Lilongwe Rural, will also close in the next four months if the government does not support the facility with salaries for its health workers,” Makala said.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe has indicated that the cost was sometimes huge, adding that the ministry would be reviewing terms of the MoU.
“The cost has been huge, so we just have to review some of the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding,” Chikumbe said.
Cham has 184 health facilities across the country.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.