Malawi President Peter Mutharika’s directive to ban local health public relation officers from speaking to the media has sparked anger from the National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (NONM).
According to a memo signed by ministry of health principal secretary Mcpherson Magwira, district health spokespersons are now to seek permission from the ministry before granting information to journalists.
Reacting to the news, NONM Executive Director Dorothy Ng’oma said the development is unhealthy to a democratic country like Malawi.
“Local PR’s are very important because they give real, current issues that are on the grounds, I don’t think someone at the national level can give information about Nsanje, this doesn’t make sense.”
“But we are not surprised, we have a government that does not know what to do, no fuel for ambulances, no food for the patients.”
“They have failed all that and they also want to take away our voice? I think is unhealthy to a democratic country like Malawi,” said Ngoma.
The development has also been deemed to be a threat to access to information bill, advocated by media practitioners in the country.