Communities in Chitipa district last week petitioned government through the District Commissioner to swiftly act on the alleged deteriorating standards of the public health service delivery in the district within three months from the delivery of the petition.
They reveal that their move emanates from lack of medical facilities and equipment coupled with poor relationships between medical personnel and patients among others.
Through the chairperson of the pastors fraternal, Silent Mtambo, after conducting peaceful mass demonstrations that were organised by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) in the district, communities have submitted their petition to the district commissioner.
He added that they are demanding government to resolve five health issues like lack of ambulances, poor health infrastructures and road networks, shortage of drugs and medical equipments, unqualified health personnel and budget expenditure disclosure.
The development comes barely two weeks after community members in Karonga petitioned government against poor health service delivery from the district’s health institutions through mass protests against the matter.
Kameme Health Centre which caters for Malawian nationals in Chitipa and some neighboring nationals from Zambia and Tanzania is also crippled with inadequate drugs, poor mode of transport and shortage of qualified medical personnel but also lack of transparency and accountability on the procurement of drugs and utilization of funds allocated to the ministry of health (MoH).
Furthermore, at Misuku Hill there are at least three health centers like Misuku, Mwandambo and Chisaso to provide health services to the populace but ironically, the institutions operate without potable water spiced with understaffing as it is the case with Wenya health Centre a scenario that is likely to result into disease outbreak.
Unlike in Karonga where the District Commissioner (DC), Richard Hara who did not comment after receiving the petition on Monday 5 June, his colleague in Chitipa district, Grace Chirwa acknowledged the receipt of the petition.
Chirwa assured community members that she will convey the message to the central government so that their concerns are addressed within the time frame as indicated in the petition.
Speaking to Capital FM in response to the response by the Chitipa DC, the project officer for the CCJP which financed and facilitated the demonstrations, Abel Malumbira said as a civil society organisation, they continue pressing on government until they see to it that the needs of the populace are met.
Malumbira emphasized on the need for such change in the northern districts of Karonga and Chitipa by empowering community members to be vigilant in demanding quality health services.