On Wednesday 03rd March, 2021 concerned Malawians who are based in diaspora handed 10 oxygen cylinders, and will provide front line workers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the country’s biggest referral hospitals. The move is meant to cushion pressure COVID – 19 has exerted to the health sector.
Malawi experienced second wave of the mutant strain of COVID – 19 believed to have originated from South Africa, where many go in search of livelihoods. Most returnees came home after the festive seasons following a series of lockdowns in that country to contain the pandemic.
The oxygen cylinders will be shared in referral hospitals, to help address oxygen challenges while assisting patients at the facilities.
“Oxygen is a vital component of our management of COVID – 19 patients. This will push us a long way in the management of our patients. It is vital that we have a positive supply of oxygen and this donation will ensure there is continuity of supply,” Patrick Nyirongo, Medical Officer at the Bingu National Stadium who received part of the consignment explained after the handover ceremony.
Nyirongo urged the public that dealing with the virus requires adherence to the preventative measures that have been set by the Ministry of Health. He reminded all Malawians to wash their hands, wear face masks and maintain social distance to help contain the spread of the viral disease.
Concerned citizens in diaspora representative Ruby De Silva Matekenya who presented the cylinders was all praise to health workers for the great job they are doing.
“All of us have our relatives and families here at home. So, if the pandemic is affecting the country, what it means is that anybody, even my family members can be victims. Our next donation will be PPE's to help front line workers in the fight against COVID – 19.” Matekenya, a business woman and student who is based in South Africa explained.
According to Greenwell Matchaya, another Malawian based in South Africa who spearheaded the initiative, after contributing to numerous COVID -19 initiatives the diaspora group felt they still needed to add value by doing even a bit more. The hand over of the cylinders has proved, it can work.
“Had we not decided that way, what we are donating worth MK1 million now, wouldn’t have been possible. My message is that let all those who can help join the endeavour to provide more support,” Matchaya sounded the appeal.
Matchaya is grateful to the Society of Doctors in Malawi, staff in the Ministry of Health for providing technical guidance to the initiative.
He also thanked well - wishers in Spain, South Africa, United Kingdom and USA, for making this support possible. The concerned diaspora group also thanked the teams both in Malawi and South Africa for making the initiative a success.