Dzaleka (Malawi) : five nurses suspended for selling medicines

Dzaleka (Malawi) : five nurses suspended for selling medicines

An impromptu visit was made last Tuesday to the Dzaleka camp by officials from the UNHCR and the Malawian Ministry of Health in the Dowa district. They wanted to find out about the situation regarding the dire lack of medicines at the camp hospital. Employees of this health structure were suspended for selling medicines. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The delegation was made up of the head of the UNHCR mission in Malawi, those responsible for protecting refugees, as well as administrators from the central hospital of Dowa, the health district which manages the Dzaleka camp hospital.

They visited the camp health post and collected the grievances of the refugees’ representatives, during a meeting to discuss the situation which was beginning to be already worrying at the camp.

“Here the glaring lack of medicines has lasted for more than six months, the nurses recommend that we obtain these prescribed medicines from private pharmacies. And then, there is no more transfer here. They tell us that the ambulance has no fuel and we are asked to buy gasoline. All this while we are destitute“, they explained.

“We deplore the death of at least five refugees, including a pregnant woman. All this due to negligence and poor reception from nurses. So we ask you to resolve the situation because you are responsible for this chaos”, new refugees’ representatives vigorously argued.

The UNHCR and these health officials in
the Dowa district did not beat around the bush after the incriminated staff failed convincing explanations.

“You have failed in your obligation and mission, so you must suffer the consequences”, ruled this delegation acclaimed by the refugees from Dzaleka.

Disciplinary measures were taken. “Four nurses, including two refugees, were suspended as well as the driver of the camp ambulance.

The first accused of selling medicine, the second of selling fuel”, explain refugees’ leaders. Among the suspended nurses, one owned a private pharmacy in the camp, which was subsequently closed. The delegation reassured the occupants of the camp that by November the situation will be restored, the stock filled with medicine and the emergency department functional.

The refugees welcome these measures and ask the UNHCR to monitor them and request the installation of another additional health center, the camp expanding very quickly. Built to accommodate ten thousand people, the Dzaleka camp currently hosts more than 50,000 refugees from several African countries, including more than 11,000 Burundians.

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