Zomba Central Mental Hospital hit by low funding, shortage of staff


Zomba Central Mental Hospital’s mental health facility has only 65 nurses out of a required 333 and this is compromising service delivery.

Speaking on Friday during a stakeholders consultative meeting, Hospital Director, Dr. Raphael Piringu said the shortfall has a negative effect on service provision.

“Zomba Mental Hospital requires 333 nurses but we have 65 nurses in the meantime,” Dr. Piringu said, adding that 65 nurses are just few to handle patients with mental health.

Apart from nurses, the Hospital Director further disclosed that Zomba Central Mental Hospital has few psychiatrists, few staff houses and no hostels for student nurses that come for practicals.

“We receive low funding to run the hospital,” he added.

He then appealed for partners to assist the hospital to address the shortfalls that include minimal mode of transport plus lack of CCTV cameras for security and surveillance.

“We’re running short of vehicles as such we fail to do follow ups of our patients,” said Dr. Piringu.

The Hospital Director observed that churches, corporate institutions and other organisations only prefer to visit central and district hospitals where they cheer patients and donate items but do not do the same to Zomba Central Mental Hospital.

‘This is discrimination at its best,” he added with a call for the media to write more on Zomba Central Mental Hospital to raise public awareness on the facility’s operations and challenges.

Senior official from the Ministry of Health, Dr. Michael Udedi, said Zomba Mental Hospital requires adequate funding from the central government apart from extra support from partners to quality service provision.

He pledged that the Ministry of Health will try allocate additional nurses to ensure that the facility address the gap.

The Zomba Central Mental Hospital’s stakeholders consultative meeting was held under the theme ‘ Realigning Our Strategic Mandate Towards Malawi 2063 Through Partnership Collaboration’.

Some of the stakeholders that attended the meeting were; Malawi Defence Force, Malawi Police Service, NBS Bank, Centenary Bank, St. John of God Hospital, Malawi College of Health Sciences, Malawi University of Business and Applied Science (MUBAS) and the GIZ.

Zomba Central Mental Hospital started its operation in 1953 and will clock 70 years of operation in October this year.