The Blantyre District Health Office-DHO is denying to have made a special arrangement with Malmed Clinic to administer the Covid-19 vaccine to the Asian and Indian community in the city.
Earlier today, social media was awash with a communication allegedly from an official from Malmed Clinic announcing that a team from the Blantyre DHO would be vaccinating members of the said community.
The message further indicated they had set aside an allowance package for the health personnel that would be administering the jab.
After backlash from the citizenry, Malmed officials have since cancelled the vaccination program due to what they term as technical reasons.
Other dismayed members of the public have even called on the Ombudsman to look into the matter, as it is an indication of something bigger.
Through her Twitter page, Ombudsman Martha Chizuma says if need be her office would look into the matter.
If indeed this is an arrangement that was made by Blantyre DHO with this clinic it is something that needs to be further inquired into to understand what exactly was the thought process to arriving at that arrangement. And I will do exactly that. https://t.co/h2AbEDCLmw
— Martha Chizuma (@ChizumaMartha) March 21, 2021
When asked if there was any arrangement of that sort, Director of Health and Social Services in Blantyre Gift Kawalazaira strongly denied it.
“There was no such kind of an arrangement with the Blantyre DHO, but Malmed was inquiring from one of our officers if that could actually happen and we said no. We told them that we need to stick to the schedule that was circulated. The policy guideline is that the vaccination centers should be set up at government and CHAM facilities,” Responded Kawalazira.
The Director of Health and Social Services also added that;
“People should not panic. They should be assured that we have adequate stocks for those that need it as per guidelines from the ministry of health.”
Responding through her Facebook page, Health Minister Khumbize Chiponda cites that the vaccine is free and her Ministry will not entertain any special arrangements.
She adds that the jab is only accessible from approved health institutions and no allowance should be given to health workers administering it.
The Blantyre DHO has since released a statement to give clarity on the reports.
The statement is however not dwelling into the specifics over the public’s concern over the said special arrangement.