Blantyre, Malawi … No sooner are current charts of anticipated and positive cases of the Coronavirus posted on the web site than they are obsolete, and the number has jumped upward. From April 1, when the first three cases appeared in the country, the run up has passed 30,000 suspected cases, and 4,000 confirmed cases. The impact is much more severe in Malawi than in western nations. The hospitals there were already pressed past their capacity, and supplies were gone from most shelves early in the month.
With the life-threatening shortage of PPE supplies, as well as insufficient beds, ventilators, isolation rooms, and other critically needed supplies shipments from the Malawi Project, and Action for Progress, are more critically needed than in the past.
In his recent acceptance speech Malawian new President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera titled his nationwide address as, “Malawi, we have a situation” He was acknowledging the COVID-19 pandemic is slowly getting out of hand and requires national vigilance to curb the spread.”
The rising number of cases of is not just a source of worry, it has become a cause for panic in people’s life. Everyone can see the threat all around them. Businesses are shrinking, the economy downsizing, schools on hold and travel is restricted.
However, still standing on the front line are the front-line soldiers who risk their lives to save others – the health workers. As is the case with other health related challenges, the shortage of critically needed equipment poses a bigger threat. In Malawi, health workers have in some cases been distancing themselves from their own workstation, because they are unable to protect themselves. The need for Personal Protective Equipment is a must.
To help narrow the gap in protective equipment, Action for Progress on Friday, 10 July, 2020 donated assorted medical supplies to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre. These included face masks, examination gloves, disposable gowns and surgical supplies. The Chief hospital Administrator for the Hospital Mr. Mgwira said, “As a hospital we are facing challenges to adequately provide the required equipment to our health workers. We normally provide health services to over a thousand people a day, but this has been reduced to 700 a day because of the lack of supplies.”
He further noted the donation of gloves and masks will go a long way in reducing the spread of the virus. “As you may have noticed, we are using more of gloves and masks now than ever before. Our workers need to be protected. We use over 800 pairs of gloves and masks in a single day”, he said. He added the supplies have come at the right time as the situation to curb further spread of Covid -19 becomes worse with each passing minute.
It is an undeniable fact that the supplies are narrowing the gap that is always in the Malawi health system. During this most recent trip to the southern part of Malawi other facilities in the districts of Mwanza and Mulanje received medical supplies.