Patients Sound SOS Amid Sit-In Strike
Patients in the country have sounded SOS calling for intervention from government, amid a sit-in strike by medical practitioners in most public health facilities across the country.
On Monday, health workers across the country staged a sit-in to force government address their welfare concerns.
Some of the issues include; provision of protective gear and improved risk allowances amid COVID-19 pandemic.
The development has affected patients who are calling upon government to look into the matter with urgency it requires.
Mr Dave Masauli is a Lilongwe resident who went to the referral hospital upon reference from Bwaila Hospital has asked government to look into the matter.
“My worry is that people are at risk of dying and government has to intervene, we might die,” he said.
Speaking to ZODIAK Online, Estelle Banda a guardian at Kamuzu Central Hospital also expressed concern with the development.
“My relative was supposed to go for an operational but this cannot be possible, the nurses are just watching us,” she said.
Just as the others, Banda has called for the President Mutharika’s intervention.
“The President has to intervene otherwise this is an infringement to our human rights. We are humans and deserve medical treatment so the president has to do something,” she added.
The health workers largely nurse-midwives want progress on how government tends to address issues of their safety.
In a recent development, health workers at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) has for the past three weeks been on a sit-in strike which has affected all sections at the southern region main referral hospital.
Chairperson for the Human Resource Health Coalition Hannah Mtemang’ombe has stressed that the health workers will not relent until their concerns are addressed.
“We have been approaching government and nothing has been done so we will continue with the strike until our demands are addressed,” Mtemang’ombe said.
Ministry of Health officials were not readily available to comment on the matter. However in March government had set aside K2.5 Billion as immediate funding towards the K15 Billion Response Plan developed budget.
The coordinated national sit-in strike has come few days after the High court granted the Human Rights Defenders Coalition an injunction barring government from implementing a 21-day national lockdown.
The HRDC and other citizens obtained the injunction on grounds they are not satisfied with how government tends to implement the lockdown which among other things pin pointed on government’s efforts to listen to calls by health workers to make a provision of personal protective equipment.
Some of the districts were health workers are on strike include, Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzimba, Dedza, Mzuzu and Salima just to mention but a few.