By Tione Andsen, MANA
CoVID-19 pandemic exposed a lot of deficiencies in Malawi’s medical industry that included severe lack of medical oxygen supplies in hospitals.
Government now has the provision of medical gas following the donation from the German government of a production plant which has been at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) — to help to ease pressure the health facility was facing to provide oxygen to patients.
At the commissioning of the production plant on Thursday, Minister of Health, Khumbize Chiponda said the plant comes at the right time when the facility was overwhelming for the past two years when CoVID-19 took its toll and there was great demand of oxygen provision to patients.
Chiponda hailed the German government for providing the extra gas plant to the facility and rehabilitating the Lepra facility in order to help patients in need of oxygen.
She said government was pleased with the continued support the Ministry was receive from German government through GIZ Malawi-German health programme.
“The donation will go a long way beyond CoVID-19 management,” she said. “We believe the issue of having difficulties to provide oxygen to patients will now be a thing of the past.”
Chiponda said there still need support in other areas of the health sector, while appealing to staff at the facility to take care of the equipment for better use.
German Ambassador to Malawi, Ralp Timmermann said CoVID-19 affected the country very much and some people could not have lost their lives if such facility was there.
He said the provision of the extra gas plant would help the facilities to minimize some the challenges they were facing in the provision of oxygen to patients.
Timmermann said Germany appreciates the leadership of the country in their response to CoVID-19 outbreak, saying government managed to declare a state of emergency and established President Taskforce to oversee the development and implementation of CoVID-19 National Preparedness Response Plan.
KCH’s deputy director, Mable Chinkhata admitted that the facility faced a lot of challenges particularly in the second and third waves of CoVID-19 where provision oxygen to patients was scarce.
She said the demand for the provision oxygen gave the staff some extreme hectic times as they kept transferring gas cylinders from the main hospital to the isolation centre.