Karonga District Health Office (DHO) has deployed a medical officer at Mlare Health Centre which was closed when a resident clinician went on leave 11 days ago.
The absence of the sole skilled worker forced some patients to go home without being attended to while others had to travel almost 20 kilometres to Nyungwe Health Centre.
In an interview yesterday, Mlare Health Advisory Committee (HAC) chairperson Vyanangika Mkwala confirmed the arrival of the new health official at the clinic which is earmarked for an upgrade to start providing maternal services.
“We now have an official to assist patients. As we are talking, he is hard at work, assisting people,” he said.
According to Mkwala, community members will identify a house near the health facility for the medical officer to work day and night.
Karonga district health officer Phineas Mfune said the issue of staff shortage at Mlare was over-blown.
“The medical officer is entitled to a holiday. We got his application for annual leave and we are looking into the issue, but the issues was being presented as if there was nothing happening,” said Mfune. n