Lack of funds at Karonga District Hospital has forced the District Council and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to divert K21 million meant for Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to alleviate the challenges facing the hospital.
CDF is managed by district councils which Members of Parliament access to carry out minor development projects in their constituencies.
Karonga District Hospital Advisory Committee chairperson, Wavisanga Silungwe, said the CDF money was the only hope for the hospital since government did not disburse the money for Other Recurrent Transactions (ORT) for June.
“The hospital has stopped providing meals to patients and even making any referrals. They are even failing to wash beddings for patients and this is hazardous to human beings,” said Silungwe.
He said councillors, CSOs and stakeholders in the district agreed that the council should use the CDF to alleviate some of the challenges facing the hospital.
Silungwe said Member of Parliament for Karonga Central Constituency, Frank Mwenefumbo, accepted the proposal.
Karonga District Council chairperson, Patrick Kishombe, confirmed the development. He said they have allowed the hospital to use the CDF to address the problems facing the hospital.
“It is true because government has not funded the hospital and we were left with no option. We cannot let people die when we can do something. The situation is very serious,” said Kishombe.
Karonga District Hospital Administrator, Alick Chirombo, said the hospital reported that it has suspended some of its services.
“Treasury authorities said they cannot fund us because they have exhausted the funds. We have water and electricity bills to pay. We are facing so many problems,” said Chirombo.
Mwenefumbo admitted that he had no problem with the proposal as long as all MPs in the district accept the idea.
“Of course, I know there is a proposal that CDF should be diverted to the hospital. I have no problems with that as long as all MPs agree to it,” said Mwenefumbo.
He wondered why government has not funded the hospital when it was its responsibility.
But MP for Karonga Nyungwe, Richard Msowoya, said he could not make a decision before consulting his constituents.
“This is very unfair because the CDF are meant for Karonga Nyungwe Constituency. We need to establish what the problem was not to receive funding and if it was only Karonga Hospital which was not funded,” said Msowoya.
He said if it is a national issue there would be need for a proper assessment before any decision was made.
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