By Duncan Mlanjira
Muslim Youth United, a philanthropy arm of Muslims in Malawi, donated starter packs to over 50 mothers of newly-born babies they found on Wednesday at the nursery ward of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre.
MYU, which adopted Queens’ neurosurgical and orthopaedic wards under the name ‘We Care’, said they decided to donate the starter packs to the mothers of the newly-born babies at the Gogo Chatinkha Maternity wing’s nursery ward as an advocacy to women to make sure they deliver at hospitals.
Most of the newly-born babies kept at Queens’ Gogo Chatinkha Maternity wing’s nursery ward are usually born with some complications and are taken there to be under observation before being discharged.
Most of them are referral cases from across the city and the mothers do not usually have necessities to take care of their newly-borns once discharged.
“As such cases, we thought it wise that we should also extend our support for the paediatric sections of neurosurgical and orthopaedic wards we assist to the newly-born babies and their mothers,” said convenor of the day’s activity, Abbas Panjwani.
“This is also our way of encouraging expectant mothers to go the hospitals in order to be given proper delivery services.”
Each mother received a baby carrier shawl, baby towel, baby nappy towel, a toy, baby wrapping sheet, baby warmth cap, baby panties, baby suits, mother’s reusable sanitary pads, diapers, glycerine, Vaseline, hand sanitizers, a packet of salt, six washing bars of soap, bathing soap, baby bath, plastic bucket, two plates, a water container, water jug set, a water bottle and a plastic basket.
Intern medic on duty, Brian Nundwe was impressed with MYU’s support, saying this will really assist the mothers, most of whom cannot afford some of the items donates.
“We really are happy that you have come here to bring a smile to these mothers as they look towards taking care of their newly-born babes once discharged from the hospital,” he said.
On average, Nundwe said they take care to close to 50 newly-born kids who need special attention to after delivery.
“The pressure that these lucky mothers had towards how they would take care of their babies once they are discharged is now relieved, and as a hospital, we share the joy with them,” Nundwe said.
On August 18, MYU delivered bread, milk, biscuit for 800 patients and multiple meals for staff in the two pediatric wards and also provided firewood for immediate meal cooking, extra firewood for future emergencies and 6 high-quality emergency lights.
They did this when there was ESCOM power failure at Queens in which the gensets also failed — creating a crisis whereby the kitchen could not provide evening food for patients in the wards.
Muslim Youth United was established in 2014 as a WhatsApp group that later turned to philanthropy and since its inception, and has undertaken many empowerment projects.
The two ‘We Care’ wards at Queens are being brilliantly been taken care of by the team that has been assigned to see to their needs and wants.
Regular checks are made by MYU members, and enquiries are very often conducted with senior authorities of the wards to ensure that their funds from donors’ hard-earned contributions are being correctly used and channeled.
Since the beginning of 2020, some of the major contributions and refurbishments that MYU has contributed towards the development of the wards are fresh coats of paint for the ward buildings and rooms; plumbing repairs and weekly visits to the children and their guardians with healthy snacks and other provisions.
Also provided a new washing machine; new chairs and benches for the nurses quarters and the waiting area and installed new curtains and bed covers.
Last year, MYU included a feeding programme at Queens every Wednesday in which they supply food items for the kitchen to prepare either rice with beef, or with soya pieces or chicken stew and they also supply milk and other food supplements such as Chiponde.
As part of their celebration of the Eid al-Adha Festival of the Sacrifice August last, the grouping donated 273kgs of meat to Queens and that’s when they came up with the feeding programme.
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March, the grouping donated health products for the wards that included 1,000 face masks, 50 washing stations, liquid dispensers and disinfectant fluids.
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.
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.