K186m debt haunts Karonga DHO

Karonga District Hospital administrator Clement Gonthi has said the facility has accumulated about K186 million in debt, largely from water and electricity bills.

He made the remarks on Tuesday during a meeting with community members at Mwenitete under Kilupula Area Development Committee (ADC) on issues affecting quality health service delivery in the district.

Reeling under debt: Karonga District Hospital

“Apart from the monthly water bill of K9 million, we also owe Northern Region Water Board about K186 million and Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi about K25 million. With the annual budget of K189 million we get from government for the 18 health facilities, we fail to settle utility bills,” he said.

Gonthi said the financial constraints his office is experiencing have forced the hospital to provide food to patients only once a day as the K1.1 million food allocation is not enough for an average of 200 patients admitted to the referral facility.

He, however, was optimistic of more funding as this year’s allocation has increased to K199 million. But he said the district needs K497 million to operate smoothly.

Justice and Peace (JP) health governance project officer Obert Mkandawire, whose office organised the meeting, hailed duty-bearers for the meeting, saying they had opportunity to share notes on issues that affect health service delivery in the district.

Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (Osisa), through JP of Karonga Diocese, is implementing a health governance project in the district.

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