By Duncan Mlanjira
Over K3 million has been raised by Bruno Kantiki, a Malawian who is with the British Army from his 100 mile Challenge doing 10 miles a day to raise funds to procure personal protection equipment (PPEs) for Malawi Health Workers, who are in the frontline in the prevention of the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Kantiki, who embarked on the challenge on April 19 and finished on April 28 targetting to raise K3 million, said sponsorship from well wishers is still pouring in and the amount has been surpassed due to positive response from Malawians in diaspora and UK nationals.
And during his runs, he was joined on solidarity for part of the way by well wishers and inspired by his noble cause, Malawi UK Military Community (MUMCo), whose vice-chairperson is Kantiki himself, have also organised their own challenge — to run 7,000 miles in order to raise £7,000 (over 7 million), also to procure PPEs.
“I am so grateful for the moral and financial support I received from fellow military friends, including their families and the British public,” Kantiki said.
In a statement, MUMCo spokesperson Chimwemwe Musicha said just as what inspired by Kantiki, they too have been spurred by the incredible story of 99-year old British Army veteran — Captain Tom Moore — who has raised millions of British pounds for UK National Health Service through several challenges.
And they also take cognizance of the solo effort done by Kantiki, who is Staff Sergeant Kantiki based in Tidworth and serving with the 19 Regiment Royal Artillery.
“In order to pay special tribute to these exemplary individuals and the healthcare workers all over the world, MUMCo wants to extend this spirit of generosity and warmth in a 7,000 miles for £7,000 MUMCo COVID-19 Challenge,” Musicha said in the statement.
“Since COVID-19 is a global problem, the money raised through this challenge will go towards the costs of buying the much needed PPEs for healthcare workers in the most poor rural communities of Malawi.
“It is just a matter of time that the country will experience a high rise of the spread of Coronavirus infection, which could lead to higher deaths if appropriate PPEs are not made available to frontline healthcare workers.
“Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world lacking sufficient health equipment to cope with this COVID-19 crisis. Every life matters and the healthcare workers are pretty much on a ‘suicide mission to save innocent lives’.
“These heroes are themselves at a higher risk of infection,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health & Population, Jappie Mhango announced on Thursday that Malawi registered a new case of Coronavirus in Mzuzu.
This brings the total number of cases to 37 of which three are deaths and 7 recovered fully while 27 are still under surveillance by the health system.
Mhango said the person is a 40-year-old male who returned from Mbeya, Tanzania on April 27 and his return was reported to his village headman, who alerted the authorities.
“A sample was collected and came out positive for COVOD-19,” the Minister said. “The person is,however, very well and hasn’t shown any symptoms.”
He said currently health workers are tracing all the contacts of the person interacted with to be isolated and tested.