A faulty transformer at Kiwe Trading Centre in Senior Chief Kilupula in Karonga District has brought healthcare service delivery at Kaporo Rural Hospital to a standstill.
In an interview on Sunday, people at the trading centre said the transformer developed a fault three weeks ago.
Jacob Mwafulirwa, a youth who runs a barbershop, said he is failing to make ends meet because the power outage has affected his business.
“We ask authorities to fix the problem to create an enabling environment for the youth to make money,” he said.
Alice Mwakaileke, a woman who sells cold water in small sachets and locally brewed sweet beer (thobwa), said the delay by the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to fix the transformer has affected her economic well-being.
“Escom should treat emergencies with the urgency they deserve. We are failing to support our families because we don’t have electricity,” she said.
Equally sharing the problem is Kaporo Rural Hospital where service delivery has been compromised.
Karonga District Health Office spokesperson Estery Nyirenda said the outage has affected storage of drugs and preservation of vaccines that requite refrigeration at the facility.
She said: “The situation has particularly affected storage of drugs such as oxytocin and vaccines for under-five children that are recommended for refrigeration.
“Additionally, laboratory and maternity services have been affected as conducting delivery requires adequate lighting.”
Nyirenda said nurses are using phones to light the maternity ward during deliveries at night.
“Again, newly born babies who require resuscitation with oxygen and suctioning will be affected if the problem is not fixed urgently,” she said.
However, Escom public relations manager Kitty Chingota said in an interview that her institution will replace the damaged transformer with another one soon.