Malawi: Questions Raised Over Resignation of Society for Medical Doctors President in Malawi

Tongues are wagging over the abrupt, unexpected and questionable resignation of the president of Society of Malawi Doctors, Dr Amos Nyaka following President Peter Mutharika announcement on Thursday that three people who are the woman, her 11-year-old relation and a 64-year-old maid tested positive to coronavirus.

Dr Amos Nyaka: Resigns with immediate effect

Nyaka tendered his resignation on Saturday.

His resignation comes barely a day after he wrote government demanding government to recruit more Health Workers; ensure adequate availability of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for Health Workers Safety; and reconsideration of Health Workers' Remuneration in the wake of national response to coronavirus (Covid- 19).

"Due to the exigencies of my public service to the nation and in the context of the rapidly evolving events in our country, I write to tender my resignation as the President of the Society of Medical Doctors with immediate effect," read the letter he written to the Society's Secretary General.

There hasn't been any response from government yet, however social media has already gone berserk with allegations of trying to explain Nyaka's resignation.

Renowned social media commentators on legal matters known as Lord Denning QB wrote Nyaka ruffled the feathers of government when he was demanding it to recruit more Health Workers; ensure adequate availability of personal protective equipment for health workers safety and reconsideration of their emuneration in the wake of national response to Covid-19.

"He was told to shut up or honorably resign. He has resigned," he said.

Malawi Equity Health Network (Mhen) executive director George Jobe urged government to make available the finer details about the patients to avoid causing public panic.

He said, for instance, it is important to know whether the patients used a bus or a different type of vehicle, and who else travelled with them.

Said Jobe: "Such details are important for the purpose of reducing the spread of the disease. Which other people were living with these people in their compound and when exactly did the woman arrive in Malawi?"

Ministry of Health (MoH) spokesperson Joshua Malango did not want to disclose whether the 61-year-old woman travelled by bus or on a different type of vehicle, nor the exact date she arrived in Malawi.

Meanwhile, the family of Rafik Abbu whose two members and a houseboy's wife were confirmed positive of Covid-19 has explained the ordeal leading to their diagnosis which has cast a huge shadow of doubt on the accuracy of the killer virus tests being carried out in the country.

Rafik Abbu whose two family members and a houseboy's wife were confirmed positive of Covid-19

Abbu, who is the proprietor of Master Construction Company, is quoted by Malawi News in its Saturday April4 2020 edition that it had to take two tests to confirm the positive test.

He said it all started recently when the couple visited India for medical attention where they returned to Malawi on March 8 2020.

Abbu told the paper that the couple was instructed by health officials at Kamuzu International Airport to go under self-isolation for 14 days considering that India is among Covid-19 hotspots.

"It was on March 11 that I developed a few symptoms such as weakness/fatigue and loss of taste and smell. On March 14, my wife developed similar symptoms, except for the loss of taste and smell. I immediately called the Covid-19 team from CHSU.

"The team visited my home to assess the situation. I insisted that the team should do a test on my wife. Unfortunately, the team decided not to carry out any Covid-19 tests as our symptoms did not reflect the typical symptoms of Covid-19 and did not meet their medical requirements," Abbu said.

He said, after a week of being in isolation, they received the news that his aunt had paid the family a visit from Australia and tested positive for Covid-19 on her return in Australia.

"I requested a report from Australia to confirm the positive test result and with a lot of persuasion, I urged the Covid-19 team to test my wife. The test was eventually done after a few days on March 22.

"The results came out on March 24 and the test was negative. At this point, I had fully recovered and my wife was feeling better though not completely back to normal," Abbu said.

On March 31, Abbu said the Covid-19 team from CHSU contacted him again requesting to conduct another test on his wife who at tha time had fully recovered.

He said the team also took samples from family members, including housekeepers and their families who reside in their compound.

Abbu said, when the results came out, they confirmed that the three people were diagnosed positive.

But Nyaka observed that chances could be that the old test kit - donated by China - may have been defective.

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