By Burnett Munthali

International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid to countries is processed on conditions and not just because we need it.

One of the IMF conditions before they can give any nation loans is for government to first of all deal with public debt.

Finance Minister Gwengwe

However, there is a lot of borrowing by President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse government both locally and internationally. This was also mentioned by Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa in Parliament on Friday 11 Aug, 2022 that government had a huge appetite of borrowing money.

Austerity measures that we have in place are for a well intended purpose. When government introduces such measures, they are meant to help save some money so that it can be used for other very important projects.

Austerity measures help find money locally that would have been, otherwise, borrowed from other lending institutions with interest and governments. Being in debt all the time is what we must walk away from at all costs so that we move forward. I believe that’s the vision for the Chakwera government by introducing austerity measures so that we have sufficient resources to develop Malawi in the near future as we go to Canaan.

However, the idea of not allowing ambulances to take back the dead from hospitals after they have been driven to hospital in an effort to try and save their lives because government wants to save fuel does not auger well with Malawians.

There are so many government cars that are being spotted out there driving outside working hours during weekends just for shopping or playing bawo. Fuel is wasted literary for nothing and the austerity measures are not working well to a certain extent. Pictures will be captured of the same and shared on social media.

Ambulances are vehicles bought by the same people using their hard earned tax to serve their lives. It must not be vice versa.

Ambulances are not bought for luxury but to save peoples lives because we pay tax. Therefore, in the event that someone dies in an attempt to fight for his or her life at the hospital, the ambulance must, take the dead body back home.

However, the current austerity measures which do not allow the ambulances to take back the dead body of someone who would have survived sounds more like a big sacrifice and lack of human face on the part of government.

Austerity measures are meant to cut down expenditures on luxury and not on life saving endeavors.

One meal per day in our hospital today sounds horrifying and terrible.

Patients are supposed to have sufficient food for medicine to work well in their body. The sick recover quickly when they eat enough food but having one meal in a day does not suggest a good environment for our public health facilities. It sounds more like a joke or having no clear direction we want to take.

Government hospitals must not look like places full of employees who are always doing their job through trial and error. Supply them with everything they deserve in order to do their job well.

Our hospitals must not look like death traps and places full of people who do not know their job. Let us equip our public health facilities with everything that is needed there. We cannot afford to have austerity measures on food for the patients. That is setting another death trap for the average and poor Malawians.

Anyway, it is all up to government to address these challenges in our public health facilities now or not.

It is up to Malawi government to improve the face of our hospitals or not so they really become life saving centres.

Otherwise, I only wish all patients in our dilapidated health facilities quick recovery as they struggle and fight for their lives.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are those of the author not necessarily of The Maravi Post or Editor

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