By Duncan Mlanjira
Wheelchairs are one of the very important equipments that Kachere Rehabilitation Centre use on a daily basis to treat their mobility challenged patients and they are needed endlessly because at times, they are given to patients who had been discharged when they cannot afford to buy one.
This was disclosed by Kachere Rehabilitation Centre board of directors chairperson, Tom Mwamadi on Wednesday when Muslim Youth United (MYU) donate 10 wheelchairs to strengthen the relationship that this the philanthropy arm of Muslims in Malawi has with the centre.
Mwamadi said this to array some belief by other potential sponsors and wellwishers that the centre might be having excess wheelchairs since several other donors have contributed the same in the past.
“There are times that we have to let some patients take the wheelchairs with them when they are discharged because they cannot afford them but, of course, on the promise that they will bring them back once they are fully recovered,” Mwamadi said.
“But it usually comes to pass that some of such patients fail to bring back the wheelchairs, either because they still need their services or that they got damaged.
“Our mission is to serve well and when there is the need to release the patients together with a wheelchair, we do not hesitate if they fall in the category that they cannot afford to buy for themselves.
“We have to take that into consideration because our core business is to make sure our discharged patients are taken care of by ourselves as well as their guardians when they go back home.”
He applauded MYU for their gesture, saying wheelchairs and other mobility equipment, such as walkers and crutches, are needed all the time to move patients from the wards to the physiotherapy gymn where they are assisted to walk without using any supporting equipment.
“So, we endlessly need the support for wheelchairs and other related physiotherapy equipment because of the reason that some end up being taken by the discharged patients.
“In these trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not easy for a donor to come here with such excellent equipment that MYU have brought here today.”
Mwamadi added that COVID-19 also affected their operations as they had to restrict the number of patients in their wards to just 40 at a time in observance of the social distancing measure that the health authorities attached as part of the preventive measures.
“The biggest challenge on this measure is that it takes over three months for one cohort of patients could be discharged. That meant there were just too many patients, who need in-house treatment but had to be seen to as outpatients.
“We are in the process with some donors to build more wards here because as a referral physiotherapy centre, we receive many cases from across the country,” he said.
One of MYU trustees who presided over the presentation, Abbas Panjwani said they decided to assist the centre in cognizance of the crucial role it plays as well as to strengthen their relationship in order to appreciate other areas that the centre might need assistance to.
“Wheelchairs are important part of the therapy treatment here and much as we donated some last year, we decided to do so again this year and map the way forward on how we can continue to support each other.
“Kachere Centre is doing an excellent job in treating most motor vehicle road accident victims, who might have been considered that they might not walk again but they eventually did after been referred here for physiotherapy treatment.
“So, we find it a great pleasure to come and assist them to effectively carry out their noble services in line with the moto, ‘disability is not inability’,” Panjwani said.
Last December, the grouping also donated physiotherapy equipment to Kachere Rehabilitation Centre, MACOHA and FEDOMA in Blantyre that included 120 wheelchairs, 20 walkers and 100 walking sticks.
MYU was established in 2014 as a WhatsApp group that later turned to philanthropy and since its inception, and has undertaken many empowerment projects.
It went on to adopt neurosurgical and orthopaedic wards at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre under the name ‘We Care’ — which were refurbished and provided with a new washing machine and new chairs and benches for the nurses quarters
Last year, MYU included a feeding programme at Queens every Wednesday in which they supply food items for the kitchen.
And in September last year, MYU organised a blood donation camp at Mpingwe Sports Club in conjunction with Malawi Blood Transfusion Service, National Muslim Students Association, Pakistan Welfare Association and Limbe Muslim Jamal Bilal Trust, whose second exercise — Panjwani said — will be held next week.