Dear Ministry of Health,
After having been unwell with cold symptoms and fevers for a longer period despite isolation and recovery time, I contacted the Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) for advice on testing for COVID-19.
They referred me to the only place testing can be done in Blantyre which is at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH).
Once there they sent me to pay, when I explained that I was actually sick and not travelling they sent me to see the doctor and have a test done in the Covid tent.
As per the information I got, QECH performs roughly 80 tests a day, out of which 90% are “sold” to healthy individuals that wish to travel. At the same time, the other hospitals inch the referral District hospitals have no test kits to test suspected cases.
I have come to believe that the majority of money to fight Covid in Malawi has come through donations.
And those donations are aimed at improving healthcare for sick Malawians. Instead the test kits are being sold and it’s very unclear where the money goes.
This also suggests that any Covid data is completely biased as 90% of tests are on healthy individuals while doctors, wanting to use the test as a diagnostic tool for sick patients, have very limited or no access to the same in big parts of the country.
The sailing of donated test kits should be illegal in Malawi and the benefit from the donated Covid money should go to Malawians and residents that are actually sick!