03:39 pm - Tuesday 18 September 2018

Immigrants putting pressure on Health Services in Malawi

By Amalawi - Fri Jun 06, 7:37 am

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Malawi: Chairperson for Gender Coordination Network Emma Kaliya has called for the introduction of the national identification cards (IDs), Kaliya believes ID cards will reduce pressure on the health sector by foreigners who greatly benefit from free medical services.

Malawi has a population of 15 million however 17 million people access medical services, boarder districts like KAronga, Mchinji, Mulanje and Nsanje experience high numbers of foreigners in their health centers.

According to the Immigration Department, an estimated 1, 000 illegal immigrants enter Malawi weekly translating to about 52,000 a year.

Executive Director for Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) Martha Kwataine echoed Kaliya’s sentiments.

Immigrants putting pressure on health services in Malawi

Immigrants putting pressure on health services in Malawi

Kwataine said according to a research conducted by MHEN, 40 to 60 per cent of people that seek medical help in border districts are foreigners. She said the current situation is a set back to the health sector.

“Our health sector is already under funded and with the foreigners flooding the county to seek medical help, it is insufficient to benefit all Malawians,” she said.

Kaliya added that the neighboring countries like Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania have ID systems which put strict laws to foreigners to access social services.

“When Malawians travel to other countries and fall sick, they struggle to get medical help in public hospitals because in those countries they use IDs to seek medical help,” she said.

“Malawians’ hard earned money is what these foreigners are robbing from the country because it is through their taxes that some of the medications in the country’s hospitals are bought,” Kaliya added.

 

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