CDEDI presses for emergency Parliamentary meeting to resolve drug crisis

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The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) is pressing for an emergency meeting of Parliament to probe and reach a consensus on the current drug crisis that has hit the country’s health facilities.

The CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa made the statement on Tuesday during a press briefing which the organization conducted in Lilongwe.

Namiwa told journalists that his organisation is asking the leadership of the Parliamentary Committee on Health to meet all relevant stakeholders in the health sector so as to discuss the present life-threatening shortage of drugs, medicines and medical supplies in the face of the forex crisis.

He added that, in a letter addressed to committee’s chairperson, Matthews Ngwale, CDEDI has brought to his attention a snapshot of the dire situation on the ground.

Namiwa has since asked the committee to use its powers to engage President Lazarus Chakwera, Minister of Health Khumbizie Kandodo-Chiponda and the Principal Secretary for Health Dr. Charles Mwansambo to cut short their trip to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York and come back home to attend to the crisis at hand.

“Today, evidence is there for every Malawian to see that the public health system has collapsed. This is clearly mirrored through, among others, the acute shortage of essential drugs and medicines largely due to the forex shortage, dysfunctional machines such as X-rays, Blood pressure monitors; scarcity of Dialysis consumables; lack of ambulance services due to budgetary constraints and the fuel crisis; no food rations to patients; poor disease surveillance on the current outbreaks of cholera and the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said

He went on to say that the situation is a clear sign that Malawians should brace for worsening levels of malnutrition due to the impending hunger if the Malawi Vulnerability assessment (MVAC) report is anything to go by.

“This will, surely, erode the gains made in the fight against HIV/Aids, TB, Malaria and other diseases. It is strange, therefore, that given all these challenges, the President has decided to abandon Malawians for a lavish lifestyle with both the Minister of Health and the PS. In times of crises like these, one would have expected our self acclaimed servant leader to be at home to steer the sinking ship to safety.

“There is no immediate comment from Parliamentary Health Committee Chairperson Ngwale but our traces indicates that the letter from CDEDI has reached his office,” Namiwa said.

He also said that Malawians are passing through numerous economic challenges which commentators say are due to poor leadership style.

He noted that Corruption is topping the list that has caused the development partners including the international monetary fund (IMF) to abandon the country.

He then said that the prices of goods and services have also skyrocketed due indecisiveness of government to have the local currency devalued by 25 percent in May this year.

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