Malawi Health Care Support (MAHECAS) UK and Medstrom Healthcare UK have donated 1,025 new hospital beds and 781 new hospital mattresses valued at around K700 million to the College of Medicine (COM) in Blantyre.
The donation was a response to a request by the medical college.
Receiving the items, COM's acting principal Professor Mac Malewa, described it as: “phenomenal and generous."
Since COM does not have a hospital (it has an outpatient clinic), the purpose in seeking the donation, was to support government hospitals which are in the COVID-19 battle front, Prof. Malewa explained.
“We have been part of the response towards the pandemic; health surveillance, diagnostics, setting up labs not just in Blantyre but in other parts of the country as well.
"We also been part of the clinical management of patients that have COVI-19 at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and other central hospitals.
"So it is through participation in the fight against the pandemic that we realised there was need to source beds for the care of the COVID patients in all the hospitals that are looking after the COVID patients," Prof. Malewa said.
He touted the beds as being of the same calibre as those used by the National Health Services in the UK where Medstrom manages 20 percent of the UK acute beds and mattresses fleet and products and services to 150 hospitals in the UK and Ireland.
“The beds are not just going to be used for COVID patients they can be used beyond COVI-19, they are robust beds that can be in the hospitals for years to come," Prof. Malewa explained.
COM management will decide on the beneficiary hospitals, but QECH, Kamuzu Central, Zomba Central are likely targets.
Local coordinator of MAHECAS Lawrence Gogodus said they settled for beds, based on the reality that, Malawian hospitals are faced with acute shortage of beds that has led to patients sleeping on the floor.
This was not the first time that MAHECAS was donating beds as similar gestures had been extended to hospitals in Mulanje, Chitipa, Chikwawa, Chipita, Zomba and Mangochi among others.
Gogodus also praised the coming in of Medstrom to complement MAHECAS' fundraising efforts.
Prof. Malewa assured Gogodus the beds would go towards their intended use.
The chunk of beds and mattresses is worth UK£600,000 (Approx MK700 million) with shipment alone costing around K47 million.
MAHECAS is a UK-registered healthcare charity focussed on the relief of sickness and preservation of good health among patients in hospitals, health clinics, and other primary health care locations in Malawi.