If this headline-chasing DPP government is interested in probing the number of children or, indeed, innocent Malawians it has murdered as a result of its failure to implement an energy policy that brings continuous power to Malawians, then it must extend its ad hoc one day probe into deaths of children at Kamuzu Central Hospital during the festive period to other hospitals in the country.
Here are the straight facts:
On Tuesday, December 27, 2017 The Daily Times reported on its front page that a blackout had cut short the lives of four babies at KCH.
As a result of this story, the Minister of Health and Population, Atupele Muluzi, instructed his Principal Secretary, Dr Dan Namarika, to conduct an investigation into the issue.
From the probe, the ministry claimed that throughout the 24 hours of Christmas December 25 two babies tragically died at Kamuzu Central Hospital.
The first one, the ministry claimed, died because of a severe case of malaria while the second one was suffering from a severe medical condition and that it tragically arrived late at the admission ward to be treated.
The ministry insists that neither death was caused because of loss of any power although it strangely says through the 24 hours of Christmas, KCH did suffer a loss of power which was 10 minutes after the back-up generator failed.
But quick to be said by the ministry, as a fact, is that no deaths were recorded at the hospital as a result of the 10-minute blackout.
Reacting to all this apparent cover up, Dorothy Ngoma of National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives said two to three minutes are enough to send a baby on a machine to its eternal sleep and that 10-minutes of electricity blackout at the only referral hospital in the Central Region cannot be couched in a language that seems to say it did not matter, because it did.
For starters, let us look at the so-called probe that Namalika conducted. Who is he? Is he not the boss at the Ministry of Health? Is it not clear that death of four children as a result of a clueless DPP government that does not know how to execute an efficient energy policy is a blemish on such government?
Would the most senior civil servant in the ministry be the right person to do the probe without risking a cover up? The Daily Times story quoted the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kasungu West, Alex Meja, who was on the ground that night and witnessed it all. Did Namalika talk to the MP for his version of the story?
When all is said and done, this is an attempt to process the projection of guilt by a government that has clearly murdered Malawians, throughout the country, who were unfortunate to get sick and go to government hospitals at a time of the worst blackout in living memory.
If Muluzi and Namalika are interested in probing the number of people that this government has killed as result of playing games with power, then their probe cannot stop at KCH only.
They should extend it to all district hospitals, clinics and health centres throughout the country.
It is common knowledge that district hospitals are underfunded, that some get as low as K10 million per month, that has failed to run even ambulances in the past.
Now imagine district hospitals such as Mzimba, which failed to run ambulance after getting a measly K13 million per month, factoring in huge costs for running generators.
It is an impossible situation and it can only mean one thing and that is; death for patients who may be unfortunate to be on some machine powered by electricity.
Simply put, President Peter Mutharika and his DPP government are murdering people in broad daylight as a result of failure to provide electricity to citizens and its agents, such Muluzi and Namalika, think they can cover up or explain it away when the truth is stark clear to all.
It is simple, really. Any machine in hospital that is run on electricity will go off the moment power goes off and a patient’s life on such a machine is in danger.
Instead of cheating Malawians that all is well in hospitals, Muluzi and Namalika should just concentrate on what they have told us; that they are installing solar power in hospitals with the help of Global Fund.
This should be coupled with the efficient use of taxpayers’ money that is channeled to the ministry.
It is on record that huge sums of money that should be going towards patients care is stolen in the Ministry of Health every year.
The latest audit shows that over K1 billion was stolen through dubious payment of
travel allowances to workshops that included messengers in the ministry.
This is where Muluzi and his PS should be channelling their energies to. The two must stop this brazen theft.
We, Malawians, are not slaves to work and pay tax, only for it to be stolen by some vile characters in the Peter Mutharika administration.
It is no brainer. Patients have been sent to their premature deaths in hospitals as a result of power failure. It has happened in Mangochi, Machinga, Mwanza and the list is endless.
Being clever by trying to explain it away will not help and, fortunately, Malawians will see through it.