By Alex Charlie
The Generation Times has established that some public hospitals that are supposed to provide free health services in Nsanje district, are charging patients who seek medical help from the facilities.
A visit by our reporter to Ndamera Health centre in the district, confirmed that patients who are diagnosed with rabies, are forced to pay K30,000 when accessing anti- rabies drugs at the facility.
Dr Gilbert Chapweteka who is Nsanje District Health Officer says his office has plenty of the drugs and he supplies some of the consignment to rural Health centres and has always advised his juniors against selling government drugs.
However, our visit to Ndamera health centre, the facility which is about 25 km from Nsanje Boma, revealed that patients who are supposed to get the ant-rabies for free, are forced to pay for the drugs.
Speaking in an interview Violet Khalitchi, a 25 year-old- woman from Nyathando village in the area of Traditional Authority Ndamera in the district, said she is failing to access anti- rabies vaccines from the facility as she claims to have no money to procure the drugs.
Khalitchi has said her life is at stake and has since called on government and other stakeholders to intervene on the matter.
Khalitchi of Nyathando village in the area of Chief Ndamera in Nsanje district narrated that she was forced to pay K30,000 by Fatsani Misiri, who works for facility as Medical Assistant.
The 25 year old woman said she paid K6,000 as part payment and failed to complete the other due to poverty line.
As we publish this report, four people have already lost their lives due to rabies since January this year this is according to Nsanje District Animal Health and Livestock Development Officer, Laston Zammimba.
When we tried to contact Fatsan Misiri he refused to comment on the matter
Rabies is an infection of the brain and is one of the fatal medical conditions whose deaths are caused when a person is bitten by either rabid animal including hyenas, dogs and cats.
The disease is a 100 percent preventable but once its signs begin to show in the human body, there is no cure to the disease and becomes terminal.