Balaka District Health Office (DHO) has finally transferred patients to Ntcheu and Machinga following the fire that gutted down part of the district’s hospital in the wee hours on Friday.
Director of Health and Social Services in the district, Dr Eugine Katenga Kaunda said in the morning that they were pondering the transfers since the two hospitals are close and could accommodate the patients as the inferno had suffocated some of its operations.
In an interview with Kulinji.com later in the afternoon, Kaunda confirmed that the exercise has taken place, but they were yet to identify the cause of the fire.
When asked about the damages of the property, the Doctor asked for more time to assess the situation and come up with the list of the property destroyed.
“My worry is just like of any other Malawian that the district has no fire engine, if we had that I hope the situation could not reach to this extent of evacuating patients,” he added.
From observation, the fire damaged the kitchen, laundry, data office and storeroom, and is believed to have started from the kitchen.
Former legislature for Balaka North, Lucius Banda said it is hight time government considered buying fire fighting machine for the district as depending on one from Zomba is a non-starter when such incidences erupt.
“Poor Malawians from villages how can they manage life to other district hospitals? Government need to do something by making sure that officials are back to work as soon as possible,” he said.
Most District Councils do not have fire-fighting machines in the country, save for the major cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba and Mzuzu.