No national ID, no medical services in Phalombe

Members of Phalombe District Council have resolved that people without national identity cards will not be allowed to get medical services in some of the health facilities in the district.

The resolution was made on Wednesday during extraordinary council meeting held at Phalombe Teacher Training College as part of the measures of preventing the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.

Legislator for Phalombe North East Constituency, Dennis Namachekecha, moved the motion about the porous of entry points of the borders of the district and the neighbouring country of Mozambique saying may lead to easily spread of the virus.

“Our friends from Mozambique are just coming in anyhow here, we aren’t sure if they don’t have the coronavirus, we need to make sure that our people are protected in this district.

“Let me say it here that our borders are so porous, for example where I am coming from in the North East constituency, areas like Mauzi and Nambazo our friends from Mozambique just enter anyhow without being checked,” said Namachekecha.

Then the whole house agreed that indeed that is a problem which needs to be resolved.

Later, Namachekecha suggested that people seeking medical treatment should show their national IDs so that Malawians only should be getting the medical help.

After a short debate, the house settled that indeed those facilities which are closer to the borders for instance Nambazo Health Centre should be helping people upon showing their identity cards.

In an interview soon after the meeting, Chairperson for Phalombe district council, Councillor Fedson Thomas, confirmed that from now onwards people who receive treatments in the said facilities will be required to confirm their identity before being helped.

“We have three if not four health centres which are in the borders here in Phalombe so we want our fellow Malawians to be accessing the health services in these facilities using their national IDs for easy recognition,” he said.

Asked if what the council has decided is not a violation of human rights, Thomas said procedures are changing everywhere in the world due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Apart from Nambazo, other health facilities which are in the district that people from Mozambique also benefit from them are, Nkhulambe, Sukasanje and Mulungu Alinafe.

During the meeting, the council members also adopted and approved bylaws which will be working hand in hand with those measures which Malawi government has put in place to prevent the Covid-19 which has killed two people and out of the 16 that have tested positive in this country.

Globally, the confirmed cases of the coronavirus have passed 2 million with most countries intensifying measures of dealing with the virus such as mandatory wearing of masks and lockdowns.