A sick joke Goverment can play and BAT Malawi

I had taken time off after the elections to allow people to set down. My cabinet list missed about four people and the majority were as predicted. I am happy the Lucious Kanyumba is the Minister of Youth we go a long way in youth empowerment issues. I pray he will perfom as expected.
I had decided not to comment on cabinet appointments, but a change at Ministry of Information is soothing and a welcome change. Its peace time and worriors should be recharging for 2014. I welcome the good professor Peter Mutharika, I am sure he has learnt a few tricks including not to park his vehicle at the door as many prying eyes surely note everything.
But today its not about the cabinet, but a matter of health. There are two issues which i find very sick on part of Government.
I am a member of the Media Task Force on Service Charter for Salima which aims at improving service delivery for five key sectors of Health, Agriculture, Education, Police and Social Welfare. I spent the whole of last week in rural areas of Lifuwu and Chipoka where I almost cried at a school where four teachers are teaching 12 classes and work more than 10 hours a day for about US$50 per month.
I thought I have seen enough, but when I went to hospital, despite a beautful and smiling nurse, I was shocked to hear that Lifuwu Clinic did not have any drug and the supply for July had not arrived by July 25th when I visited the clinic.
Two nurses and one medical officer serves a community of 12,000 people and when I travelled to Chipoka I found one medical officer (people call him doctor there) and three nurses serving 25,000 people. My foot. They work 24 hours seven days a week, the whole year round.
When I tried to find out from the Minstry of Health, the response was usual we are working on it!
My thinking of how sick some Health officials are because amid all the pain and anguish from a por mother who told me that she was given a prescription to buy medicine, 80 kilometres from town in a pharmacy and she did not have the money.
My fellow Journalist Isaac Kambwiri gave her money for medication, but I am sure other priorities were considered that I wasnt sure if the coughing kid will be considered looking at the poverty of the mother.
Back to a sick Government.
I am sorry, while President Bingu wa Mutharika seems to make the right noise, there are things he need to pay close attention to among them the usless allocation of K50 million to honour some scottsman who died long time ago and brought on lake Malawi MV Chance Maples.
This vessle is old and rusty but in the wisodm of some scottish people they want it to turn it into a Mobile Hospital on Lake Malaw. I have no qualms about this, my problem is that they the whites now want poor Malawians to pay for their idea of a cruise hospital.
As much as I have respect for the Ministry officials K50 million can do a lot. Train at least 10 doctors, 200 medical assistance and 100 Nurses. Or better still can equip Lifuwu Hospital with drugs for five months.
How we lay our priorities should reflect the poverty and needs of Malawians. I find it very sick to spend over US$300,000 to conduct a feasibility study of a ship and may be another US1 million to rehabilitate and equip a vessel when there many urgent needs including a need for a cancer machine.
This sickness mr. president should be stopped. Save the lives of the poor first and let the Scots pay for their own pet projects without invloving the poor. How many people will the mobile hospital on the lake serve, how much will it cost to operate and how will it generate sustainance income. In the end we will spend more on maintaining this odl vessle over peoples lives.
Finally to BAT Malawi, they are a sick company and their 4oth day will come. How do you explain your recent advertisments for PALL MALL cigarrettes in newspapers. The same does not happen in UK and you pulled out of Malawi sports sponsorship since you claimed you respected world ban. What is the difference between the life of a Malawian and a British National.
BAT Malawi should desist from trying to provoke or display arrogance, there is a growing anti-smoking lobby and an angry president against tobacco buyers. You will soon find your self out. Be on the look out!!


Unknown said…
The problem in Malawi is we have a nation of people who do not use common sense rather use their heads with no brains.I am sorry to say this being Malawian myself but come on guys no one needs a floating hospital what for??That money could go all the way to purchase medicine drugs,train nurses and improve the walfare of our guys in uniform(teachers,nurses,soldiers,police)Too much hype has been put on Bingu therefore whatever he touches turns into gold it dont matter whether its improving government agencies or cutting peoples heads they will sing his name even if he eats their children..thats what we have made Bingu to be. We dont learn from our past failures in Kamuzu and Muluzi.
Acacia said…
'let the Scots pay for their own pet projects'... I agree. ironically the scottish government grants for developing malawi, well the ones i have explored, stipulate they must be spent in scotland.
enough of wacky donors influencing our agendas. at least madonna sorted herself out and didn't ask for our help!
Chifundo Kadiwa said…
Sometimes these problems comes from officials who just go at Capital Hill at 9 AM and Knock off at 1 PM. That's why their answer is always we are working on it. Somewhere somehow somebody is not doing his work and someone at the top don't even know that someone down there is not doing his job. That's i personally i like journalist, if you put this on the front page you will see that within a day or two there's going to be drugs and doctors at the health centre but go there after three months you will find the same situation, that how civil servants work. I think the whole civil service need an overhaul and goverment should have tried the one in the private sector.
Rani said…
the idea behind the chauncy maples floating clinic is that it should serve people living in lakeshore areas who do not have access to regular hospitals. The idea behind it is a good one - whether the cost of rehabilitating the ship in order to provide those services is worth it, I don't know...but don't you think that we should avoid calling people names like these "whites" especially when all they are trying to do is help (whether we like it or not?). If the Malawi Government thinks it is a bad idea or that it is not cost effective, it shouldn't get involved. Otherwise I do like your blog.
Janie said…
The Chauncy Maples Malawi Trust was set up in Britain at the request of the Ministry of Health. Indeed, they want to bring health services to the lake side communities who have none - and no roads to get to clinics.
Scottish people are not telling Malawians what to do. But British people are raising large funds to help poor Malawians.
see www.chauncymaples.org for accurate details.
J Hampton, Director of the Chauncy Maples Malawi Trust, Oxford, UK.
Unknown said…
I totally agree with your thoughts on Chauncy Maples and the waste of funds. Malawi does not need a floating hospital but needs money injected into all the existing hospitals that are under-staffed and lack constant supply of essential drugs. Janie Hamptom states the Malawi Gvt approached her for help? Really? why? what are her credentials? I guess Janie Hampton has found a project that will raise her profile and fund her trips to Malawi. I see one of the Trustees - a US citizen - now has a huge farm in Malawi. It is time that the azungus stop patronizing Malaw.

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