President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has ordered the minister of Health Khumbidze Kandodo Chiponda to immediately open Area 25 Health Centre in Lilongwe which was last week vandalised by some people of nearby Mgona township.
Speaking when he presided over the launch of cholera awareness campaign on Monday in Lilongwe, Chakwera asked the police to provide maximum security to health workers and the health facility.
Some residents of Mgona run amok beating up health workers and vandalising the health centre because they were not happy with the death of a cholera patient at the hospital.
This led to the closure of health facility.
Three police officers, who were despatched to bring peace at the facility were also seriously wounded and their armoured vehicle burnt.
But Chakwera said an evil action of a few people should not force others get punished.
He then apologised on behalf of Malawians to the health workers for the attack.
He asked Kandodo Chiponda to address security issues at the health centre with urgency so that it should be opened “even today.”
Chakwera lamented that a similar incident happened in Balaka.
The Malawi leader has since urged all health workers across the country to continue offering their services.
Speaking on behalf of health workers at Area 25 Health Centre, Tifera Phiri, said they are still traumatised and living in fear because they are still receiving threats.
She said some of the health workers are failing to put on their uniforms fearing for their lives.
They have since asked for security assurances before they start their work.
Kandodo Chiponda has promised to beef up security.
Chiponda said it was unfortunate that actions of a few perpetrators who vandalised the facility have led to the suffering of many in need of health services.
In his speech, Chakwera said nothing the government does will stop cholera if communities do not change their behaviour and start adhering to preventive measures.
He said it shows that close to 40 percent of households have no toilets yet it is the responsibility of every one to have latrines or toilets.
The President said that there are people relieving themselves wherever they want without using toilets, “that nonsense has to stop.”