Munira Abdullah and Aisha Missi presenting the wheelchairs
* Patients needing services of the casualty department were being carried on guardians backs
* We face a lot of mobility challenges for the casualty department, the maternity ward as well as for theatre services
By Duncan Mlanjira
After discovering that patients were being carried on guardians backs for medical services at Chiradzulu District Hospital due to lack of wheelchairs, concerned charity foundation, Malawi Relief Fund-UK (MRF-UK) has swiftly provided three as immediate assistance.
Country Coordinator, Yakub Adam Vialli said they came to detect this worrisome challenge when two of MRF-UK officers, project manager, Munira Abdullah and administrator, Aisha Missi visited the hospital to check on one of their patients there.
“That’s when they observed that patients needing services of the casualty department were being carried on guardians backs and upon enquiry they were told that the whole hospital do not have wheelchairs.
“This deeply moved Munira and Aisha and immediately engaged management at the hospital to ask if Malawi Relief Fund could provide them with some.
“Management instantly agreed to this proposal and Munira presented the project to the rest of the team of Malawi Relief Fund and it was swiftly approve.
“We are very grateful that we were allowed to assist in this way and this is not the first time that Malawi Relief Fund has assisted Chiradzulu Hospital since the district falls under our catchment area for our charity projects,” Valli said.
In his vote of thanks, James Chausa — Chiradzulu District Council’s director of health & social services — said they face a lot of challenges at the referral hospital and one of them is mobility of patients for the casualty department, the maternity ward as well as for theatre services.
“Thus this assistance of wheelchairs from our usual benefactor, Malawi Relief Fund is greatly appreciated,” he said. “We appeal to other well-wishers to assist with the other challenges we face such as solar energy for our wards, the casualty, the theatre — in fact for the whole facility.”
He also indicated that the hospital’s perimeter fence needs to be rehabilitated as it compromises their security and thus asking wellwishing organisations to consider assisting towards its rehabilitation — to complement government’s efforts in providing comprehensive health care to its citizenry.
Chiradzulu is one of MRF-UK’s catchment areas where they assist vulnerable people by building them low cost houses as well as providing food relief in times of disasters.
And in 2021, the charity donated washing machine with a 8.0kg washing capacity to the district hospital’s laundry room — whose five machines and a dryer had broken down — easing the burden of its laundry staff, who had to manually wash bed linens and other necessary medical cloths.
MRF-UK also repaired the hospital’s mortuary’s cold room by replacing a compressor and its accessories to cater for six of the 12 corpse drawers.
The charity also donated 30 wheelchairs to six hospitals in the Eastern Region of the country with referral Zomba Central Hospital receiving 10 and four each for Mulanje, Phalombe, Machinga, Balaka and Mangochi district hospitals.
In March this year, MRF-UK, in partnership with Issa Foundation (UK), officially handed over 200 climate change-resilient houses which were constructed for the benefit of the vulnerable elderly women in the areas of Traditional Authority (T/A) Maganga in Salima District.
The houses were complemented with boreholes that were sunk around the communities where they were built and were handed over as the two charities were reviewing their annual house project assessment.
So far, MRF-UK has drilled over 80 boreholes in different areas of Malawi from 2022-2023 from the several catchment areas that vulnerable people are assisted, more especially elderly women who support orphans and so far.
And in partnership with Issa Foundation (UK), over 1,957 low cost but climate change-resilient houses have been built and handed over — accounting to over 3,800 in different areas of the country.
Apart from houses and provision of clean water, MRF-UK with funding from Issa Foundation have constructed a faith and learning hub for the Salima community.
In November last year, MRF-UK handed over 142 decent houses in the villages of Mchiliko and Malowa in Namwera, Mangochi District through the that was initiated in 2015.
MRF-UK started building low cost houses since the floods of 2015 in Chiradzulu, Mangochi, Ntaja, Nselema, Namwera, Zomba, Phalombe and Salima that became the charity’s catchment areas for assistance.
The houses come along with latrines and the beneficiaries are also provide a starter pack of items that include mattresses, blankets and kitchen utensils and sinking of boreholes in such communities.
Provision of clean and safe water is one of MRF-UK objective in assisting humanitarian needs of vulnerable people as well as food handouts and the gift of sight, among many other projects.
The charity also manages a Talha Scholarship that reaches out to more 240 students in various universities and colleges in which over a 100 females are in teacher training programmes.
Though its catchment areas are Zomba, Chiradzulu, Phalombe and Mangochi, MRF-UK swiftly moved in to assist flood victims of Cyclone Ana in 2022 with relief items that included food, clothing, blankets, safe water and shelter in the Lower Shire.
The charity also assisted when Tropical Cyclone Freddy-induced floods devastated the Southern Region.