President Arthur Peter Mutharika on Monday opened the new Nkhatabay District Hospital where among other things he warned hospital staff against vandalism and theft of drugs and equipment at the new facility.
Over the past months, under President Mutharika’s orders, Police have intensified the fight against drug theft in hospitals.
“To you the staff of this hospital. Do not dare to start stealing medicine for your patients. Dare, and you will go! This is not a threat, but this a warning! I gave instructions to Police to intensify vigilance and surveillance on all hospitals. And I want to congratulate Police for the good job they are doing,” he said.
He noted of several incidences where Police have stood ground to fight drug theft.
“Only two nights ago, a laboratory technician dared to steal medicine from Mzuzu Central Hospital. Police secretly followed him and arrested him. What he didn’t know is that Police is secretly watching the hospitals.”
In a separate case, a district official at Chiradzulu was arrested by Police for allegedly stealing drugs.
President Mutharika reiterated his government’s commitment in providing good health services to Malawians.
“Good health is one of the measures of development. Therefore, we want to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages. This is another goal! Building modern hospitals is one of the measures we take in order to achieve our Sustainable Development Goals.”
The 300-bed facility will provide out-patient clinics and specialized clinics, dental services; ante-natal clinics and family planning. It will also serve under-fives clinics and HIV/AIDS clinics, diagnostic services including radiology, ultrasound, laboratory and a blood bank.
The magnificent hospital will be used as a teaching hospital for both nurses and medical doctors from various training institutions across the country.
The facility – which has has 71 staff houses and waiting shelters for guardians- has cost over US$18.7 million (more than K13 billion).
The President told the gathering that his government plans to commence various projects in the health sector.
Next on the schedule is the ground breaking ceremony for Mponela Rural Hospital, Lilongwe District hospital and the National Cancer Centre also in Lilongwe.