TNM tick themselves off with a donation to Society of Medical Doctors
By Duncan Mlanjira
The combined cash spent and cash-in-hand is at K75,620,115 for the COVID-19 Response Private Citizens which one of Malawi’s well-known social issues commentator, Onjezani Kenani initiated eight days ago.
Kenani reports that the cash in hand is K31.7 million the money spent is K33,878,859 to procure 40 cylinders; 40 flowmeters as well as oxygen in those 40 cylinders (K17,378,859.20) while K16,500,000 was used to buy Enoxaparin essential drug; non-rebreather masks and nasal prongs.
He says National Bank has asked to be given the list of items needed to be for them to pay directly to the supplier.
“We are fine with that, and are deeply grateful to National Bank for this,” he said. “Now that we have our own [Standard Bank] account, I will no longer be asking for donations to be made to my personal account.
“I will be transferring the K1,761,404 that is there to our Standard Bank account on either Monday or Tuesday, when the account opening formalities — which are still ongoing although the accounts are already open — will be finalized.
“However, if anyone happens to send money to my personal account without realizing that I am no longer asking donors to send the money there, I will publicly disclose the amounts received and show you evidence that I have transferred the money to our designated bank accounts.”
He says the grim and sober reality is that some, if not most of the COVID-19 deaths, have been due to lack of access to adequate supply of medical oxygen in the wards.
“While hospitals have skilled staff to manage the situation, without oxygen, there is very little they can do save to lives. Therefore, our plan is to buy 56 oxygen cylinders, 56 flowmeters and fill in oxygen in those 56 cylinders — to be distributed two cylinders per district hospital.
“The more cylinders we have the better we can save lives. So, two cylinders to each district hospital across the country. Two cylinders plus two flowmeters and the oxygen per district.”
However, Kenani says Afrox is unable to supply these cylinders as the company appears to have been overwhelmed by the demand.
“While we commend all well-wishers who have donated funds to procure medical oxygen, it would be a tragedy if we cannot get the oxygen to the hospitals.
“But there is a way, if we can find any gas cylinders — industrial oxygen cylinders — we can have Afrox repurpose them into medical oxygen cylinders.
“The objective is to supplement the supply of oxygen to the hospitals to ensure that most of the hospitals have adequate supply of medical oxygen on a regular basis.”
He envisioned a 3-phase approach:
1- Supply and deliver oxygen to the hospitals by purchasing and repurposing more cylinders, refilling oxygen into these cylinders and delivering to hospitals.
2 – Purchase and installation of a high volume tank called Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plant, at the hospital near the treatment centre and reticulate pipes to each bed. The medical oxygen suppliers will refill the tank at the hospital as per demand.
3- Repair the existing PSA plant that are available, but out of service at various hospitals.
“Our immediate focus is point No.1, i.e. repurposing — with the help of Afrox — used cylinders of industrial gas into medical oxygen cylinders. For us to deliver on point No. 1 above, we need your help — and that is the reason I write this post.
“We are looking for cylinders that can be repurporsed to save lives. Do you know — or anyone you know — who have industrial oxygen cylinders? Or does your company have these cylinders that are idle or can be released to this initiative?
“The cylinders can be in the form of donations, sell or hire out to be returned after the situation is under control. We also appeal to the manufacturing companies like in the tobacco companies, breweries, welding shops, etc.”
If so, they are to contact Polesana Tembo in Lilongwe via WhatsApp on: 0999 961 000; 0888 241 789; or 0993 961 000.
“This is war. Let us fight it with all we have got. People should not die because of lack of oxygen. We can donate oxygen cylinders to each and every district hospital, from Nsanje to Chitipa. Yes, we can.”
“[As US President John F. Kennedy said] ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country”, let us join hands to get this pandemic under control.
“Let us think on our feet. We shall overcome. The struggle is real, but victory is certain. Thank you.”