Govt probes reports of COVID vaccine special arrangement with pvt hospital

Dr. Charles Mwansambo Principal Secretary for  the Ministry of Health
  • The personnel to administer are from govt & they are not for hire

  • Malmed is not one of the clinics on the list to administer the vaccine

Ministry of Health says an investigation will be instituted on reports of a private clinic in Blantyre which allegedly made plans to distribute the AstraZeneca vaccine on a “special” arrangement with some officers from the Blantyre District Health office (DHO).

Speaking during an interview with Zodiak’s flagship programme “Tiwuzeni Zoona” aired on Sunday afternoon, Principal secretary Dr. Charles Mwansambo said he enquired from the Director of Health and social services in Blantyre Dr. Gift Kawalazira who confirmed to him that the communication did not emanate from his office.

Mwansambo said the district health office released a press statement on how the vaccine exercise will be undertaken in Blantyre starting from Monday 22 in clinics authorized by the government to be done by officials from his office.

He stated that the vaccine which government is administering for free has been procured through the COVAX facility and under the arrangement; it has to be given to all countries in the world regardless of one’s economic status.

During the interview, Mwansambo indicated that an investigation on the matter will be carried out.

Kawalazira: Malmed not one of the clinics on the list to administer the vaccine

“We will indeed institute a probe on the matter. It hasn’t ended here and I want to assure Malawians that the vaccine which the country has received is safe and all those who were targeted will receive it.

“Leave that to us; there are procedures in place to investigate the issue and the vaccine is free and they cannot hire Ministry of health staff to administer the vaccine at any other place unless using the stipulated guidelines to distribute it countrywide,” disclosed the PS

He spoke of paperwork which health personnel undertake to ensure proper follow-up, the number of doses, expiry dates and hence pointed out that it cannot be easily diverted as all these protocols have to be adhered to.

Mwansambo went on to assure that Malawi has been carrying out immunizations for a long time and there are measures in place to ensure its safety and efficacy, protected from abuse and that it should reach the targeted groups

Malmed clinic in Blantyre is reported to have made a special agreement with some officials from the district health office.

Malmed: Was reportedly in some special COVID-19 vaccine arrangement

The Principal Secretary maintained that the injection is free and the Blantyre special arrangement is not happening.

 “The vaccine will be administered by government in authorized hospitals and many people will try to make sure that it should get to their facilities, but we have procedures to be followed and a private clinic cannot make a private arrangement. This is not allowed. If it indeed happened it is a disturbing development

“The DHO himself has assured me that in Blantyre the process is on course and Malmed is not one of the clinics on the list to administer the vaccine.

“The personnel to administer are from government and they are not for hire as they are given all the resources from government as we want the vaccine to reach all regardless of one’s economic status in society.”

He stressed that if at all that arrangement was made, it is not from government.

According to him, the DHO has all the resources which will enable it to audit the vaccine both manually and electronically

Currently, the jab will be distributed using government and Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) facilities and structures.