By Duncan Mlanjira
UK-based charity, Cherish International UK has applauded Malawi health care workers in their total dedication in the fight against COVID-19 and thus decided to donate oxygen concentrators and face masks as its contribution to the fight.
Cherish International UK was founded by Divya Ganatra, whose family has over the years been involved in philanthropy, especially towards underprivileged children.
Speaking through convener, Abdul Mukadam at the presentation of the donation at Namiwawa in Blantyre, Divya said Cherish International cherishes the wonderful work that the frontline health care workers are doing in containing the pandemic.
“Cherish International decided to assist with the oxygen concentrators to ease the work being done by the frontline health care workers and the masks to protect them in the delivery of their services,” she said.
The K25 million worth of equipment has been distributed to Blantyre District Health Office (10 oxygen concentrators), Queen Elizabeth Centre Hospital (5) and two for Catholic Church’s Mlambe Hospital in Lunzu.
Divya also thanked donors in UK, USA and in Malawi for helping to raise the funds to procure the vital equipment and also to various stakeholders who have so far responded positively towards the COVID-19 fight.
Receiving the donation on behalf of Blantyre DHO, Dr. Precious Kadzamira, who is in charge at Kameza COVID-19 testing centre, applauded Cherish International for considering to donate the oxygen concentrators, saying two of the six Malawian victims who died from the pandemic, had required this vital equipment during treatment.
“When patients reach critical stages it requires oxygen concentrators to resuscitate them, which unfortunately we do not adequately have and we rely on donors like Cherish International to assist us.
“Most of the positive cases we have had were from Malawi returnees from South Africa and it is through Blantyre DHO’s testing facilities that identified the cases.
“Most of them were from across the country. So by assisting Blantyre DHO, you have also helped the whole nation in preventing the spread of the pandemic.”
Kadzamira also thanked Mlambe Hospital for working closely with Blantyre DHO in the fight against the pandemic.
Mlambe Hospital was represented by Matron Anna Mbale, who said the oxygen concentrators being mobile will serve well since they can be moved around from the treatment isolation tents to the wards at any needed time.
“We are also very appreciative that you also have provided us with face masks in order to protect us health care workers in discharging our work,” she said.
Since 2008, Cherish International UK has strived to improve the lives of underprivileged children in Malawi by supporting over 400 school kids in orphanages by providing regular meals and also their academic needs.
“We are supporting and working with Haven of Rest, Kwacha Vision, BCV and Mountain View School for the Deaf,” Divya said.
“In the past four years, we have been supporting Malawi Against Polio (MAP) by donating 150 wheelchairs and 100 elbow clutches for the rehabilitation project in Blantyre and outlying remote villages.
“In the near future, we are hoping to provide more wheelchairs and clutches for the remote villages.”
Convenor Mukadam said Divya was born and brought up in Malawi and went to St. Andrews International High School.
After attaining her A Levels she relocated to the UK to pursue further studies in Optometry.
“Being a true humanitarian, like the rest of the Ganatra family, Divya has never severed the umbilical cord of he land of birth.
“After establishing herself in UK, she now puts a lot of her time giving back to the less privilege of her country of birth,” Mukadam said.