Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lament from a Public Hospital in Malawi

Victor Kaonga has a sobering assessment of conditions in Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi. This is part of the power of the press to hold governments and others--including individuals and international groups--to account for whatever realities exist on ground. The comments are also compelling, particularly as they widen the circle of accountability.

In a few short months, I'll be able to see things for myself--as well as report on how well the Malawian government's internationally funded program to make things better is doing.

Writing in the Nyasa Times, Kaonga says:

Is it true that there are too few doctors in Malawi yet we train so many that find good perks in Europe? I asked myself while recalling that the problem is simply retention of medical personnel and not necessarily that Malawi does not train any. I reminded myself that I had decided not to blame anyone for the mess in our public health system in Malawi.
But one thing I wished was available was a lobby for more funds even salaries for the medical personnel and resources. With due respect to civil society leaders and parliamentarians who earn huge salaries and yet only ‘work’ far less than the 24 hours doctors and nurses are on call, will anyone be passionately and unselfishly concerned about the plight of the health personnel in Malawi?

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