9,000 people die in public hospitals


Ministry of Health has said 9,107 patients died at its health facilities from July to December 2014, the ministry’s Mid-Year report has revealed.

The report which was presented by Minister of Health Jean Kalilani in April during the 2014/15 Swap mid-year review meeting says 380 were maternal deaths and 2,383 neonatal deaths, 4,114 stillbirths out of 340,089 admissions and 5,388, 976 outpatient attendees.

The report points out that the four leading causes of death among children under the age of five were Malaria (58 percent), acute respiratory infections (19.4 percent), malnutrition (11.9 percent), and diarrhoea (10.8 percent).


“I know that these deaths represent the tip of an iceberg as many more may occur in the communities or are underreported in the facilities,” she said.

In a related development, the report says from July to December 2014, there were 240,527 deliveries, of which, 230,700 (96 percent) happened at a health facility while the remainder of 9,828 births happened outside health facilities.

“This is remarkable considering that this is the first time we have recorded this high proportion of facility based deliveries,” said Kalilani.


Health and Rights Education Executive Director Maziko Matemba said 9,107 deaths is a huge concern to health advocates since any single life is precious and has to be protected.

“I applaud the ministry for being open on the challenges the health sector is facing as the situation still shows that we are losing a lot of newborns which government need to find a solution to,” he said.

Matemba asked government to allocate enough resources to the Ministry of Health as the current status is not good.

“I hope the 2015/16 budget will allocate enough resources to the ministry as compared to last year to avoid the death of innocent children who are the future leaders of Malawi,” he said.

Malawi Health Equity Network executive director Martha Kwataine said most deaths are caused by preventable ailments.

“Let’s not concentrate on public hospitals since there are similar situations happening at private clinics and we shouldn’t over look them. We are losing a lot of people at these private facilities but they go scot free because they are overlooked since everyone is concentrating on public facilities,” she observed.

Kwataine added that it is high time people become aggressive and sue health facilities for causing deaths.

“Whoever is responsible be it government or a private facility will become careful when they begin to pay for this.

There is also need for increased funding into the health sector to cover the gaps that are there,” she said.

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