Reports are emerging that Tonse Alliance administration has closed the an International British Foundation called Freedom from Fistula because the government feels the money that is injected in this organization is huge that it wants to have a ‘Final Say’ on its operations.
“Fistula is a big problem in Malawi because anecdotal evidence by the Ministry of Health reveals that an estimated population of 20,000 women is living with fistula in the country.
Freedom from Fistula Foundation does not only do physical repair of fistulas but also provides holistic approach to meet patients needs especially in areas such as socioeconomic empowerment and social integration so that ‘patients leave with restored dignity, self esteem and confidence as the Foundation provides some arts and craft, solar-energy programs financial generating income sources amongst others,’ said Sibongire Hara, who works as nurse at the Foundation which is currently situated at Bwaila District Hospital premises.
In her letter which Malawi Voice has seen sent to the Ministry of Health Headquarters, the Founder of the Organization, Same Ann Gloag has lamented over Malawi government on how some senior government officials at Ministry of Health are failing to appreciate role the Foundation is playing as keep on demanding money and other resources at the expense of poor Malawians who cannot afford to be on medical insurance.
Since its inception in Malawi, the charitable organization has repaired over 3000 women who have fistula problems.
“Our only help in this country is this noble organization that has helped in many ways than the government itself,” said Janet James one of beneficiaries of Freedom from Fistula Foundation who went to call the President Dr Lazarus Chakwera to intervene in this saga by even firing Dr. Mwansambo for his unprofessional conducts.
Some of the problems Freedom from Fistula Foundation has faced are the orders from above approach.
“We were at more than once expelled from this building after COVID-19 pandemic surge as government wanted to use the building as an isolation centre for COVID-19 . After a week, we were kicked to the kitchen.
“After all this mistreatment, our Founder wore a brave face to e-mail the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health but she got no answer.
But as this was happening still we had patients waiting to be helped by the same organization the government was victimizing, with some women leaking urine and stool while begging assistance from the nurses,” narrates unfortunate ordeal, sibongire Hara, the Principal nurse at the Foundation.
So far the Foundation has been closed as patients are sent to Kamuzu Central Hospital for treatment a thing that has angered patients to call for massive demonstration against the Principal Secretary, Dr Charles Mwansambo and his henchmen at the Ministry as are the ones believed to be chasing the cash from the donor as a condition of allowing her organization to be continuing operating at Bwaila Hospital premises.
Fistula is the abnormal connection via a tunnel-like hole between two organs or vessels. Fistulas can occur in various parts of the body.
In women, fistulas do involve the most genital and urinary tracks and happen commonly due to prolonged or obstructed childbirth, injury during pelvic surgery, infection, inflammation, or radiation treatment in the pelvis.
Freedom from Fistula has been operating in Malawi for ten years now saving poor Malawian women from untimely deaths.