Ministry of Health and Population has refuted as untrue Daily Times story that alleged that four babies died at Kamuzu Central Hospital during Christmas because of blackout.
According to the ministry, two babies died but not due to blackout.
One died upon admission to the hospital and the other died while on oxygen whose oxygen cylinders do not use electricity. On Wednesday December 27, The Daily Times published an article that claimed that four babies died as a result of a loss of power at the Kamuzu Central Hospital.
After the media report, Minister of Health and Population, Atupele Muluzi instructed the Secretary for Health and Population, Dr Dan Namarika to conduct an investigation into the issue.
The investigation revealed that through 24 hours of Christmas Day (25 December) two babies tragically died at Kamuzu Hospital. The first died because of a severe case of Malaria and the second was suffering a medical condition that tragically was diagnosed too late to be treated. The investigation showed that neither death was caused because of the loss of any power.
The investigation further established that through the 24 hours of Christmas Day, Kamuzu Central Hospital indeed did suffer a loss of power for approximately 10 minutes and unfortunately the back up generator failed to cover this period and during that time no deaths were recorded at the hospital.
Following the death, Muluzi has said “Any loss of life is a tragedy, particularly those of young children, however there was very little that the medical team could have done to save either child despite the professionalism that they showed caring for both patients. I hope that the families of both children will accept the sincere condolences of all in the Malawi medical service and I hope we can respect their privacy at this tragic time”.
And Namarika also said “100Kw of solar power from the recent Global Fund grant will be installed at KCH ear budsly in January. While this is not a total solution it will go some way to supporting the hospital with its future power needs.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry has advised The Daily Times to write stories with facts and avoid sensationalizing stories especially those that concern people’s health and lives.