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Hospital staff shortage worsens

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Due to the current acute shortage of workers in public health facilities in the country, some expectant mothers at Tulonkhondo Health Centre in Mwanza are assisting each other during delivery, The Daily Times has established.

Some members of the community around the health centre disclosed at the weekend during a media visit organised by the National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust, saying many lives of newborn babies are lost in the process.

According to the people The Daily Times interviewed, when patients or guardians complain about the situation, they are told to go elsewhere for treatment or delivery.

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Whyson Wilson from Njolomora Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kanduku in the district said health workers at the facility work from 11am to 3pm. As a result, patients who come after that hour are not attended to until the following day.

He said patients in severe pain packages as this is the only way human resources for health can be improved for the better using homegrown innovations.

In her remarks, Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) Executive Director Martha Kwataine urged the health workers to use common sense to avoid loss of lives, saying “if that hospital is closed those people will be unemployed.”

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Mwanza DHO Raphael Piringu accused this reporter of faking the story, saying only one maternal death was recorded in January and was due to diabetes.

“We refer patients from health centres to the district hospital because [of complications]. All health centres in Mwanza have two nurses and one clinician due to accommodation challenges,” he said before asking the reporter to bring the victims to his office.

On Monday Minister of Health Jean Kalilani said government, in conjunction with other professional bodies, is doing everything possible to address the situation.

This is taking place at a time Malawi is grappling with maternal and neonatal morality by bringing women closer to skilled healthcare providers through, among others, putting up maternity waiting homes.

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