Fresh findings by this publication indicate that increase in population is affecting health service delivery in Malawi’s northern region district of Mzimba.
During a recent visit to Mzimba, our Reporter found that people were overcrowding in public health facilities such that medical personnel were unable to deliver efficiently.
For instance in the maternity wing, women were seen sleeping on the floor because their number exceeded the available beds in the room. Some of them went on to reveal to our reporter that almost 45 pregnant women were not able to sleep under mosquito nets because the available ones had already gone to others.
“This room is becoming very small now. See some of us sleep without mosquito nets on the floor. Authorities must consider helping us as soon as possible,” said one woman Rhoda Njikho.
Gathered records show that a room made for 40 people is now loaded with about 200 women who are also waiting to give birth.
“The medicine we get from government is becoming very few considering the number of patients we treat these days. Even medical staff is not matching with the growing population here,” complained one nurse pleading for anonymity.
Commenting on the matter, publicist for the facility Mr. Nyirenda suggested that government must consider refurbishing the hospital to accommodate more people because currently they really face challenges in terms of accommodation.
“The growing population is behind some shortfalls in our service delivery because as you saw that room was designed to accommodate about 40 people many years ago but now the it holds about 200 which shows that something needs to happen to meet the current state of affairs,” said Nyirenda.
His sentiments were echoed by the district commissioner for Mzimba Thomas Chirwa who confessed that the rate at which population is growing is really becoming terrifyingly perturbing.
He said some facilities were designed long ago for the few people who were present and because they are not being improved, there are problems of congestion.
“Such facilities needs improvement because they were designed way back before the population reached this extent,” he said.
On his part, Paramount Chief M’mbelwa V said his subjects should have few children because the population is growing at a very alarming rate.
He said people must realize that the available space will remain the same so when they continue multiplying, they will only bring negative impacts in all sectors of life including health and education.
“The land is still limited so people must have it in their minds that having additional babies will only accompany more trouble,” he said.