South African company, Sanlam Group joined its Malawi business partner NICO Group, to further support government’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic by donating medical equipment to three of the country’s referral hospitals — Kamuzu Central (KCH), Mzuzu Central (MCH) and Queen Elizabeth (QECH) — worth K44 million.
The donation, done through the Ministry of Health, answers calls to corporates and other stakeholders to assist in the COVID-19 fight and it follows several drives that NICO Group has undertaken since May 2020 when the pandemic broke out.
Group Managing Director, Vizenge Kumwenda said this was NICO’s private sector response in which Sanlam decided to join — in line with NICO’s values to offer social opportunities to the public.
He said even though the Group has assisted towards the COVID-19 pandemic, they still see the need to support even more for hospitals to offer health security to the public.
“As concerned and responsive corporate citizens, NICO and Sanlam felt it necessary to continue stepping in and supporting the Government in fight against COVID-19 and to improve the health facilities,” Kumwenda said.
The items donated are 20 bedside trolleys to KCH and MCH; oxygen units to KCH and MCH and PPE’s to KCH, MCH and QECH — bringing the money spent by NICO Group and its partners towards the pandemic to date to K90 million.
He added that the company is continuing with giving out food items to identified vulnerable families.
“A few more families in Lilongwe are being handed these food packs tomorrow by the NICO team. We have been running a COVID-19 awareness campaign to promote awareness of the prescribed prevention measures as outlined by Government through various media channels and on our social media page.
KCH’s director of health services, Dr. Jonathan Ngoma said it was very heartwarming to see just how much the private sector has helped the health sector during this pandemic.
“We thank NICO Group and its partners, Sanlam for this donation which will assist us in this fight,” Ngoma said. “The equipment will help to ease burden which the hospital faces on its daily operations.”
NICO says it is committed to playing its role in the COVID-19 fight and believes that in unity, there is a greater chance in defeating the pandemic.
In May, as soon as Malawi were registering COVID-19 cases, NICO Group donated 20 hospital beds, 20 mattresses, 20 oxygen units and 20 bedside trolleys worth K22 million to boost the services that is being provided at Kameza COVID-19 isolation centre in Blantyre.
Last week, NICO Life and NICO Pension jointly donated K2 million to assist Development Aid for People to People (DAPP) Malawi in support of the organisation’s COVID-19 activities in Machinga communities where it is carrying out a nutrition programme for Under-5 children.
Last month, NICO Life and NICO Pensions also responded to a call for help from College of Medicine by donating personal protective equipment (PPEs), worth K6m to University of Malawi (UNIMA) as the constituent college prepares for resumption of physical academic classes.
NICO Life and NICO Pensions provided 2,000 N95 masks; 2,000 general masks and 81 face shields.
Earlier on, NICO Life and Nico Pensions also donated K6 million College of Medicine (COM) to acquire lap tops for 30 needy of its undergraduate students, who were facing challenges to access lessons in the wake of the tertiary institution being closed in observance of preventing COVID-19.
NICO also has a programme running for five years at K6 million each in which we provide academic materials for deserving students.