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Poor hygiene at Karonga hospital irks minister

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Minister of Health, Atupele Muluzi, on Friday took a swipe at authorities at Karonga District Hospital for poor hygiene and sanitation as a cholera outbreak in the district worsens, with 72 cases reported so far.
During his tour, Muluzi was irked when he beheld uncleaned surroundings and poorly managed sewer system which was releasing a pungent smell to the discomfort of patients, guardians and anyone within the vicinity of the facility.
He said the situation compromises one of the four priority areas of his ministry’s strategic plan; which is quality service delivery
“I am worried about the surrounding; worse still, this filth is close to the maternity wing, thus exposing mothers and babies to health threats. And these are simple things that do not need huge investments,” Muluzi said.
He thus cautioned against scenarios where people return from health facilities having contracted additional infections after initially reporting to seek help.
“With the cholera outbreak, all we need to do is to enforce sensitisation messages on proper sanitation and ,as a health institution, we ought to be exemplary,” Muluzi added.
Questioned on why the facility is operating in such filthy surroundings, District Health Officer (DHO) for Karonga, Phineous Mfune, said his team is trying its best.
“I don’t think we are doing a very bad job; we are trying within our means as a health facility to keep the hospitals and surroundings clean. Remember that we are operating in an environment of inadequacies but efforts are being put in place and we have room for improvement,” Mfune said.

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