By George Mponda
Dedza District Health Office (DHO) has put in place strict measures to control congestion and possible transmission of the virus at Dedza District Hospital as one way of combating the spread of the Coronavirus.
Some of the measures include entrance regulation, use of national identification by Malawian citizens and official border passes for foreigners.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), Dedza DHO Spokesperson, Mwai Liabunya said they are currently regulating the entrance to the hospital to one gate, where people are being screened before entry.
“To reduce congestion in the hospital, we have erected tents to decongest our Outpatient Department (OPD) so that patients should be waiting in the tents before going for consultation in a controlled way. We have also intensified ward rounds so that patients who are showing improvement should be discharged,” he said.
Liabunya added that, “At the moment, we have made it mandatory that there should be one guardian per patient and from now on, we will be providing three meals to patients on admission which are breakfast, lunch and supper as a way of controlling hospital visitations from their loved ones.”
Responding to the issue of Mozambican nationals who use Dedza district hospital to get treatment and therefore contributing to the congestion,he said national identity cards would be required upon entry at the hospital.
The Spokesperson said that, “Although the universal access to health provides an opportunity that a person can receive treatment anywhere in the world, we will only be treating foreigners who have used the official border posts.
So, upon entry into the hospital, everyone will be required to produce a National ID as one way of making sure that Malawians and legal foreigners are getting treatment.”
One of the patients who had gone to the hospital, Gabriel Chiomba hailed the DHO for introducing these measures, saying a majority of foreigners were accessing the hospital leading to shortage of drugs.
“This issue of Mozambicans accessing our hospital has been going on for a very long time, I hope that even after we have dealt with Covid-19, the measures will still be in place,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Malawi has a total number of 70 confirmed cases including three deaths according to Ministry of Health.