It has emerged that many people are now shunning hospitals in Mzuzu for fear of either contracting Coronavirus or being diagnosed for Coronavirus.
A sudden survey conducted within the past two weeks has uncovered that many people have found solace in prescribing medication for themselves based on guessed assumptions of their ailments.
Most people who, during the survey, had signs like fever were simply buying antimalarial drugs in private pharmacies on presumption that they were suffering from Malaria.
One of the interviewees during the survey that was conducted in seven townships in the city confided that he will not go to the hospital before the disappearance of coronavirus.
“The problem is that these days, medical practitioners diagnose everyone with Coronavirus while maybe it’s not it,” said the interviewee who was, at that time, buying some pain killers at a pharmacy in Chiputula township.
“I’m afraid of going to the hospital because there is coronavirus there,” said another person who was also buying some antimalarial drugs at a pharmacy in Chiwavi township.
“Hospitals are coronavirus traps,” feared another source. “I would rather prescribe medication for my child here at home. After all, I knew she’s suffering from malaria. The signs are obvious.”
A woman who goes for her Blood pressure (BP) checkups at Mzuzu central hospital every month, disclosed that she will not be going for the exercise this month for fear of contracting the deadly plague.
“I will just buy the medicine from the pharmacy,” she said. “Otherwise, from what I hear, Mzuzu Central Hospital has been infested by the virus. Most health personals are reportedly positive for coronavirus.”
This phobia that people in Mzuzu have embraced about the Coronavirus has, according to one medical doctor, Mavuto Chirwa, been fueled by unchecked misconceptions and misinformation.
“The problem is that with digital age, everyone is a journalist and is very eager to pass on information,” said Chirwa. “This has led into the spreading of unprocessed information which are easily believed by people.”
Chirwa further noted that, unlike in old age, these days people easily believe on any information passed on through social media before they can verify with reliable media outlets.
“That everyone has now access to WhatsApp. False information spreads very fast and people easily believe in it.”
“This false information,” he added. “Causes panic an unnecessary fear in most people.”
Chirwa further cautioned people against prescribing medication for themselves without consulting certified doctors citing that most ailments have similar signs thus prescribing any medication without the approval of physicians can bear catastrophic outcomes.
“Let people not fear going to the hospitals,” said Chirwa.