When a government watches 50 of its citizens depart this life in just a week due to lack of basic medical care at a referral hospital such as Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), the simplest conclusion would be that such an administration has failed.

Every time I imagine the sense of desperation that has engulfed patients and guardians at KCH which has been hit by the scarcity of even the very basic medical equipment, I am struck by the realisation that the country has followers in wrong places.

In leadership positions of some key ministries and departments are people who don’t seem to have the slightest idea of management and are blindly showing the way, instead of trailing behind others.

Just how did government, the Ministry of Health in particular, let a referral hospital—which is supposed to cater for millions of people—deplete all its resources to a level where it cannot afford to buy materials to cover small wounds? And all we hear from the Minister of Health is an excuse that a truck carrying the medical supplies is stuck at some port in Mozambique.

So, until such a time when the truck makes it back on the road, KCH should get used to the idea of wheeling an average of 14 bodies to the mortuary in a day?

If this country can afford to handle single patient emergencies and airlift prominent people to foreign hospitals, why can’t it act with similar swiftness on this matter and do everything possible to ensure that drugs and other necessities are available at the hospital?

Does it make sense to have operations paralysed as at a referral hospital such as KCH just because a truck is stuck somewhere? Can’t the whole government machinery find a way of getting emergency supplies to end the heartbreaking crisis in hospitals? Why can’t government airlift the drug consignment from Mozambique, to save the lives that are dying needlessly?

Meanwhile, there is no word from the presidency, yet what we see are Facebook updates of how the President has welcomed some foreign delegation who are here to discuss peripheral matters compared to the predicament at KCH.

Our leaders, it seems, do not know what they are doing, but more importantly, they don’t really care for the welfare of the masses so long as they are in power. That’s why they live in a different world where they can’t relate with the suffering that people are going through at KCH.

They care less because they know once they fall sick; they will access better treatment in private hospitals or be flown to expensive hospitals abroad where their bills are settled by the taxpayers, whose family members are filling up mortuaries in public hospitals.

 

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