16 June 2017

Malawi: MP Lunguzi Tells House of 13 Deaths Over Poor Quality Surgery Materials - Minister of Health Confirms

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health Juliana Lunguzi has told Parliament some of the miseries at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe, saying 13 people have died in four months due to lack of surgery materials known as sutures.

"The report I have from Kamuzu Central Hospital say 13 people have died within four months from complications of the poor quality of sutures," Lunguzi told the House.

Lunguzi, who is also Member of Parliament for Dedza East (Malawi Congress Party -MCP), said the materials the hospital is using to stitch wounds after surgical procedures are "causing wounds to open up."

She said: "As a result, patients are dying due to burst wounds from simple procedures."

Lunguzi asked the Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume if his ministry is aware of the development.

Minister of Health Kumpalume confirmed the situation is posing danger to lives of many patients.

He said it was not only the suturing materials which were a problem but all those supplied by Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST).

Kumpalume said doctors at KCH are now refusing to use the law quality suturing materials.

He said the problem is with the procurement, saying "the challenge is that CMST cannot use single sourcing to procure the sutures because procedures do not allow that."

Kumpalume said his ministry called for a meeting where it was agreed that they would request from Office of the Director of Public Procurement to do " single sourcing for the sutures" while the hospitals look for local suppliers to buy.

After from sutures, Nyasa Times has learnt that most public hospitals here doctors are reportedly diagnosing patients using guess work due to lack of essential equipment.

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