MZUZU-(MaraviPost)-On April 20, 2020 Malawians had a rude awakening upon learning from the media that Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre closed its doors (for three days) and went on recess, simply because workers at the institution still have unresolved issues with the government, which is their employer.
Such news is not only disturbing but also shocking considering what Malawi is going through at the present.
Well, everyone knows so well that the whole world is in a crisis – Covid 19.
Malawi is no exception. But from the word go, the government has not shown real interest in assuring its people of their safety and health security.
Such people even include the health workers themselves. All that is heard is but the usual rhetoric!
Where government blatantly lacks interest is when you learn from the resigned president of Society of Medical Doctors (SMD), Dr Amos Nyaka, that in preparation for a possible outbreak of Covid 19 in the country.
Malawi government sent abroad only three health experts to undergo a special training on how to combat the disease and upon returning from such a training, they should train others.
According to Dr Nyaka, the follow up training barely took place. That already smacks of a government that plans blindly.
As if that is not perturbing enough, when the deadly pandemic reared its ugly face on Malawian soils, the government found itself wanting as to how the victims of the disease would be treated.
By then only one Covid 19 treatment centre was reportedly operational – College of Medicine in Blantyre, with none in Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
But presumably, the special cabinet committee on Covid 19 had already started to pocket meeting allowances and what not! That is typical of our government whose planning depends on disasters first.
Few days later, health worker who are already in handful numbers started to grumble about personal protective equipment and their risk allowances. I mean health workers are human too; their lives also need security.
As a matter fact, the health personnel need more security and motivation now than ever before because, if not fully mindful of this, they can become vectors of the virus from patients to colleagues, friends and family members.
But the government has invariably listened to their voice of reason with busy ears.
Hard as they tried to poke the government – through industrial action – so it could listen to them, their outcry just died distantly like echoes.
Now because they have proven to be a rare species, which they really are, the government seems to have waken up from the usual slumber to attend to them with personal protective equipment and glaring risk allowance increments.
But this might be too little too late, considering that more damage might have already been caused.
It might possibly happen that because the health workers were not fully equipped and motivated, their attention to the crisis was quite lukewarm.
May that be the case, then most definite is the fact that Malawi is yet to face the worst because with the closure of the health facilities, the low work morale of the health care givers.
Malawi’s inherent lack of serious attention to real business, then the nation is in for Covid 19 trouble.
As of April 20, Malawi had 17 Covid-19 cases with two deaths.