The Malawi government through the ministry of health has banned all the country’s District Health Officers (DHO) from talking to the media on the financial crisis that has hit the health department and affected service delivery in hospitals.
According to a memo signed by principal secretary for the ministry of health, Dr. Macphail Magwira, the Malawi government has thought of doing so because most officials in the sector are giving out contradictory information to the media.
Minister of health Peter Kumpalume has backed the decision saying his ministry wants to continue giving the general public coordinated information rather than contradicting themselves.
Meanwhile, the Media Institute for Southern Africa- Malawi chapter (Misa-Malawi) has strongly condemned the ban and has asked the ministry to reverse the decision.
Chairperson for Misa-Malawi chapter, Thom Khanje, said it will be hard for reporters to find information in the sector.
Khanje added that instead of going forward with access to information, the ministry is moving backward.
Reports show that the ban is a result of interviews which were done by DHOs and district medical officers with the media on various angles in the sector without involving ministry of health spokesperson.