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Mzimba Hospital maternity wing operates without beds

FACING CHALLENGES—Mzimba District Hospital

Joshua Malango

It has been revealed that the maternity wing at Mzimba South District Hospital has no beds, a situation which has forced expectant women to sleep on the floor at the facility.

This was noticed when National Bank of Malawi, Mzuzu Branch donated items worth K2.1 million to the hospital on December 26.

Expectant women complained that the absence of beds has resulted to some of them having backaches.

One of the women who opted for anonymity disclosed that the hospital authorities do not respond to their complaints despite several attempts.

“We sleep on the floor and you know how hard that is for an expectant woman. We need comfort so it is our plea that has to be looked into,” she said.

In response to the complaints, the hospital’s senior medical officer, Faith Nyirongo said the hospital receives more than 150 expectant women waiting for labour but the maternity wing has a bed capacity of 42 hence the removal of the beds to create space to accommodate more expectant women.

“We receive a lot of expectant women because this is a referral hospital and we even go up to 150 [expectant women] yet the room only accommodates 42. We just decided to remove the beds to accomodate more of them,” she said.

Commenting on the development, Malawi Health Equity Network Executive Director, George Jobe faulted the lack of awareness on the use of contraceptives in villages as one of the reasons for congestion.

He, however, pleaded with the hospital authorities to provide the women with mattresses to avoid discomfort.

“It is our wish that the hospital should at least provide mattresses to these women because sleeping on the floor is even worse,” Jobe said.

When contacted, Ministry of Health spokesperson, Joshua Malango asked for more time before responding to the matter.

During the time of the visit, the hospital had 105 expectant women in the ward.

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