Absence of DHO Causes Stir in Likoma District On Lake Malawi

No DHO: Residents concerned No DHO: Residents concerned File Photo


For nearly three months now, Likoma district (comprising Likoma and Chisumulu islands on Lake Malawi) has operated without a District Health Officer in office.

Residents that we have spoken to say this is compromising health and social service delivery in the district.

District Health Officer, David Sibale, was transferred to Karonga in November last year and was replaced with medical officer for Rumphi, Dr.  Western Nyirenda.

However, the newly assigned DHO is allegedly yet to report for duties.

Likoma District Commissioner (DC), Eric Nemar, says his office has official confirmation of transfer instructions for the new DHO from ministry of health.

Nemar said the new DHO only report for work on 19 January 2020.

Sub-Traditional Authority Mwasi told Zodiak Online that the absence of the DHO is a blow to those who will have benefitted from his medical expertise at the moment.

“It is worrisome that government is sending someone who has other commitments,” said Mwasi.

Zodiak Online has information to the effect that Dr. Nyirenda is coordinating a two-year research project on Tsetse flies underway in Rumphi district.

Contacted for comment, Dr. Nyirenda told us that DC Eric Nema was better placed to explain the absence as he was aware of extra services Dr. Nyirenda was rendering.

“I am aware that government tasked him with another responsibility in Rumphi. He is coordinating a research project on tsetse flies,” said Nema.

But he was quick to express his worry over his absence saying it would not be wrong that the residents will compare between the two.

David Sibale was the first DHO resident on the island in the history of the DHOs.

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