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Washing machine disappears at QECH

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Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) continues to experience effects of its security lapses as a washing machine has recently disappeared in broad daylight.

The Daily Times has learnt that on Monday last week, some officer from the hospital’s maintenance department told his colleagues who operate the machines that the machine was faulty and needed to be repaired.

The following day (Tuesday), at around 3:30pm, the officer hired a vehicle and picked the washing machine from the hospital but this happened without the knowledge of the security officers or administration department.

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Later on, when the matter was known, the officer failed to explain what happened to the machine and where it was taken to.

But last Thursday, QECH Principal Hospital Administrator, Chikumbutso Tambala, refused to comment on the issue.

He initially said he was not aware of the matter but after further questioning, he said: “Do you know how a washing machine looks like? …. People are talking about it but as I’m talking to you, the police are here investigating the issue. So I can’t say much now.”

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Last month, our sister paper, Malawi News, reported about security lapses at the hospital which led to four known theft incidents. Medical supplies, taps, and sinks, among others, have been disappearing through the hospital’s three main gates and its numerous entry points.

In that story, Tambala downplayed the fact that QECH has security lapses since it has 92 guards hired from a company and over 30 guards who are permanent employees.

Ministry of Health Spokesperson, Adrian Chikumbe, said the ministry is aware of the security lapses at QECH since they received a written complaint from some members of staff on the same.

“We have written them back with some recommendations including that they should demand compensation from the security company which they hired.”

“Not only that, QECH management just like any other management operates anywhere should take up the responsibility of tightening the security in its premises,” he said.

Some two years ago, QECH had several incidents of bogus doctors, an issue which was also linked to its security lapses.

QECH is the country’s major referral hospital which houses important medical equipment.

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