Queens’ COVID-19 treatment units operating at half of needed healthcare workers; As MYU fulfill its medical supply donation

Mponda (2nd left) receives the donation from MYU on behalf of Queens

* As of Monday, Queens had 86 admissions

* This is from the total of 323 active cases admitted in over 20 hospitals

* Lilongwe having the highest at 128, Zomba 20 and 15 in Mzimba North.

* Monday had 592 new COVID-19 cases, 81 new recoveries and 10 new deaths

* Bringing total active cases at 12,479; recoveries at 6,780 and 518 deaths.

* Case fatality rate is at 2.6%

By Duncan Mlanjira

In order to cope with the continued increase of COVID-19 patient admissions, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital has erected more tents as treatment units to be able to accommodate extra intake of 150 to the current 120 patients it could hold.

The items donated

And to go with the increase of treatment units, the hospital would need extra healthcare workers as currently they are operating at half of the needed staff.

This was disclosed on Tuesday by Queens’ Deputy Director responsible for clinical services, Kelvin Mponda when he received a donation of medical supplies from Muslim Youth United (MYU), which the philanthropic arm of Malawi Muslims procured through a fundraising initiative that they carried out last week.

The items donated included two patient monitors; 800 heparin vials (medications); 25 rain coats; 25,000 face masks and 21 pulse meters.

Mponda said they were grateful of the donation, saying the supplies would go a long way to provide the best medical care they can give to fight the pandemic.

He gave an example that during the first wave of the pandemic, they were using over 25,000 face masks in a month but now they are at over 100,000 a month.

Coronavirus Alert

“We still need more support from all stakeholders so that together we can control this pandemic,” he said.

“When the public supports the fight, it’s not like they are just assisting the patients we have here — they are also helping to stop the spread of the virus to themselves.”

As of Monday, Queens had 86 admissions from the total of 323 active cases that are admitted in over 20 hospitals across the country with Lilongwe having the highest at 128, Zomba 20 and 15 in Mzimba North.

Coronavirus alert

The country registered 592 new COVID-19 cases, 81 new recoveries and 10 new deaths, bringing total active cases at 12,479; recoveries at 6,780 and 518 deaths (case fatality rate at 2.6%).

Mponda said they receive an average of 10 patients a day and their treatment units could hold up to 120 patients as planned for the first wave but following the continued increase of daily admissions they decided to erect more tents to have, at least 150 more.

Thus they need more healthcare personnel as they would need, at least, over 30 doctors, 60 nurses and 20 technicians just for the COVID-19 treatment units alone.

He added that the second wave, that intensified from the start of this year, has increased the hospital’s patient burden by over 20% of their normal intake.

Coronavirus alert

“We need more staff in order to reduce the strain of work from the current number we have as they have to work in double shifts more often.

“This puts them at more risk of being infected whereby they can spread the transmissions in the communities — that’s why we appreciate this donation from MYU and other contributions from all stakeholders in the fight against this terrible disease.

“I must add that MYU have always been our wonderful partners and we always are grateful of their swift response whenever we need it,” Mponda said.

Coronavirus alert

On behalf of MYU, Mudassir Anjum said they have provided what the hospital’s management listed as their priority needs and discussions are underway to see how to further assist.

He said together the country can reduce and contain the pandemic and urged the public to holistically continue adhering to the COVID-19 preventive measures, saying this is one priority way to stop the spread.

“We are happy to assist Queens as we have a strong partnership that we agreed to over two years ago.

Coronavirus alert

“We adopted two pediatric wards here at Queens which we named ‘We Care’ wards and last month we also donated 300 face shields to healthcare workers here in recognition of the noble work they are involved in the fight against the spread of the pandemic,” Anjum said.

As a response to the first outbreak of the pandemic in March last year, MYU donated health products for the We Care wards that included 1,000 face masks, 50 washing stations, liquid dispensers and disinfectant fluids.

MYU also manages a feeding programme at Queens every Wednesday since two years ago in which they supply food items for the kitchen.

Within a week after MYU sent out an appeal for financial support from wellwishers, managed to exceed their target of K5 million to K8 million.