KCH workers shun risky CT scanner

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Medical workers at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) are refusing to use a Computed Tomography (CT) scanner for fear of been exposed to radiation.

According to a source, the CT scanner at the hospital is not properly sealed hence workers and patients are afraid that they will be exposed to radiation when using the machine.

ct scan Malawi

The CT scanner at KCH

The machines are vital for helping make decisions about treatment but medical workers at KCH fear that the radiation can cause serious danger to patients and the workers.

A CT scanner is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body.

The machine shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, organs, and blood vessels. CT scans are more detailed than standard X-rays.

CT scans are performed to help diagnose tumours, investigate internal bleeding, or check for other internal injuries or damage.

The CT scanner at Kamuzu Central Hospital is the first of its kind in Malawi and was commissioned in October 2013.

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92 Comments

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  2. Sundress you are correct, akunama anthuwa, kumene ansgulako amaphunzitsa until they can work by themselves only then they can use. So how do they use mammograms, C_arm. Nanga amatha bwanji to fix fractures Ku Theatre opanda technology. We are behind comrades.

  3. This is really pathetic to read what Government does. Its only Malawi that doesn’t use CT scan. The company doesn’t just drop that eqpment at a place, they give in service training to staff until they can operate it just like your sonar, Xrays and chemos . is the whole country incompetent? Call Semen plz, they will happily come. That scanner is much safer than Xray and radiology. Ngati mumauser cellphone, microwave then you are exposed even magnet ya magetsi. Wake up!

    • I’m failing to understand you, I guess I’m missing your language but all in all I have managed to capture the first statement. I think it all depends on the source of the equipment but these days it’s a tradition that every equipment coming to the country or facility should go through the local distributor or dealer for that manufacturer providing a backup in terms of installation, user training, service and other related issues. So, even if it’s a donation, supposed to through the same process as recommended by the WHO. If the equipment has no local backup, in most cases it’s either underutilized or not utilised and doesn’t operate for so long before considered obsolete.

  4. i think a malawi umbuli ulipo, nkhani siyoti machine apoila ayi. koma machine ena alionse amakhala ndi ma specifications ake and poyika machine amayenera asatidwe. Vuto ndiloti radiation sichinthu choti mungasewere nacho, afunseni anthu aku hiroshima, the operator ( the radiographer ) and the patient as well as the public need to be protected from that ionising radiation. I dont know ngati machine after installation ngati ma tests anapanga.

    CT scan is one of the imaging modalities others are general xrays, MRI,ULTRASOUND, MAMMOGRAPHY, NUCLEAR MEDICINE.

  5. Webster has well explained about the issue. Radiographers know their work but some professionals seems to know better than the owners. They have been exposed to ionising radiation in course of their work. Man made radiation contribute to 18%of the total radiation and 11% is from medical x-ray. These guys are prone to effects of ionising radiation for not being fully shielded from radiation during examinations. This low dose of radiation causes radiation-induced malignancy and genetic effect just to mention a few of late effect.

  6. However, the the radiation exposure during a CT
    scan may cause a very small increase in a
    person’s lifetime risk of developing cancer . This
    concern is often viewed as more important for
    children, because the cancer risk per dose of
    radiation is higher for younger patients than
    adults, and younger patients have a longer life
    expectancy. Still, the risks of exposure to
    radiation must be weighed against the benefits
    of using CT scanning to diagnose or treat illness.
    CT scanners can be modified to deliver
    exposures that are more appropriate for pediatric
    patients. Most physicians suggest that all
    radiation exposure to patients should be kept to
    a minimum; those patients that “doctor shop” or
    repeatedly go to emergency departments for a
    “CT” put themselves at risk for radiation-caused
    problems. ( we don’t play with radiation).

  7. “But the safest
    thing is to assume that no amount
    of radiation is safe. And if we find
    out in 20 years that a little bit was
    not harmful, then what did we
    lose by trying to minimize the
    dose?”

  8. hahahaha! It’s so amusing when people who know nothing at all about radiation try to act wise amongst their fellow blind men. The Computed Tomography machine has no problem at all and for those saying it’s an outdated CT machine, they need to re-visit their sources. This is a Philips Brilliance 64 slice machine…(google that). The problem is with the shielding (radiation shielding…part of the building, not the machine). The glass that shields the operators from radiation emitted by the scanner need to be of a certain “lead-equivalent thickness” to do its job….same with the doors, but this is not the case. The integrity of these radiation shielding materials should have been tested soon after installation (3yrs plus ago) by a radiation monitoring body (which we don’t have in Malawi). I know all this because……I’m that guy in the picture (taken 3years ago).

  9. Is the machine being tested in malawi for the first time before approval by the WHO? Is it not being used by nurses and doctors in other countries? Did the manufacture make a mistake ? Mediocrity at its best in Malawi.

    • Though not very conversant with radiology equipment but what I have gathered it’s something to do with the design of the room in which this CT scan was installed. It’s an issue to do with the contractor, I guess somewhere the requirements were not followed as recommended by the manufacturers of the machine and related institutions. Most of these radiology machines do emit radiation which is also lethal to our body cells, causing mutation. So those working in the department supposed to be protected like any other health worker and it’s been shown that the room is not safe to work in but I guess capital Hill is working on that though the process will take a little bit time as the government bureaucracy is always so long.

  10. Please pezani anthu kumene anagula kuti atithandize how the machine operates and should also provide radiation aprons.

  11. Please pezani anthu kumeneko anagula kuti atithandize how the machine operates and should also provide radiation aprons.

  12. We should not rush to accuse them perhaps could be the government which bought outdated CT machine. If not boma linalemba ntchito ma bogus!

    • Inu mukuganiza bwa?
      Do u think anthu azigwiritsa ntchito dangerous things just becoz zisowa ozigwilitsa ntchito, its even dangerous to patients kaya!!
      Don’t comment if u don’t know.

    • Inu mukuganiza bwa?
      Do u think anthu azigwiritsa ntchito dangerous things just becoz zisowa ozigwilitsa ntchito, its even dangerous to patients kaya!!
      Don’t comment if u don’t know.

  13. nde asiye ntchitotu nanga azitani???they r not serious with their job expel them that’s childish and ignorance(mphuzisi angadane ndichalk kuti chimuyambisa cancer???pliz musamasewerese chito otherwise mukufunika desciplenery commitee

    • CT scanners bombard the human body with x-ray beams, which can damage DNA and create mutations that spur cells to grow into tumors. Osamapanga comment zomwe simukuziziwa

    • ayi amwene tinene kuti inuyo za zithu zimene zimachita emit radio active substance simunaphunzire ndipo simumaziwa kuti mukumana nazo nde kufika pomasiya kuopa kuti zikuonongani?anyway simukulakwisa pokhapokha ngati mukufuna kuti akupaseni zida zoti muzivala zizikutetezan kuma substances being emited otherwise olakwisa ndiobwelesa the machine they could hav brought personal protective equipment unless otherwise ?

    • ayi amwene tinene kuti inuyo za zithu zimene zimachita emit radio active substance simunaphunzire ndipo simumaziwa kuti mukumana nazo nde kufika pomasiya kuopa kuti zikuonongani?anyway simukulakwisa pokhapokha ngati mukufuna kuti akupaseni zida zoti muzivala zizikutetezan kuma substances being emited otherwise olakwisa ndiobwelesa the machine they could hav brought personal protective equipment unless otherwise ?

    • koma chikuopsad take care vuto lake zikamabwera kuno zimabwera zosakwanira nanga si amalawi mix chilendo nde andione kut ndimachiziwa pachinyasa I know it I once wkd at central medcal stores so yah take care indeed

    • koma chikuopsad take care vuto lake zikamabwera kuno zimabwera zosakwanira nanga si amalawi mix chilendo nde andione kut ndimachiziwa pachinyasa I know it I once wkd at central medcal stores so yah take care indeed

  14. Simply because they’re ignorant . KCH workers act as if they know everything . If they research properly , they’ll know the CT scanner is not dangerous .