A fundraising initiative for urgent Covid-19 relief in Malawi led by a France-based Malawian writer Stanley Onjezani Kenani has raised K18.3 million in its second day.
Kenani set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for medical supplies and equipment for frontline medical workers and patients, including oxygen cylinders, oxygen pressure regulators, medicines and personal protective equipment (PPE).
Writing on the GoFundMe page, Kenani said Malawi is facing a crisis where hospitals are overwhelmed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “We cannot just watch the house burning and shout instructions at firefighters, save this, save that, no. Let us run into the fire and save what we can.”
He said the supplies will be donated to Queen Elizabeth, Zomba, Kamuzu and Mzuzu central hospitals.
Writing on his Facebook page on Monday, Kenani said the fundraising initiative, which started on Sunday, was triggered by a social media call by late Paul Msoma who was admitted to Kamuzu Central Hospital for Covid-19 and raised an alarm about shortage of flow meters at the facility.
Msoma succumbed to Covid-19 on Monday.
Kenani started the ball rolling by donating K100 000. The GoFundMe page is found on the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/70p2cpk?utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet.
The target is to raise 50 000 euro (about K49.5 million) and by press time yesterday, 2 265 euro (about K2.2 million) had been donated. The rest of the donations were made through mobile money platforms, mostly from Malawians.
Among those who have donated, according to Kenani, are families who have lost loved ones to the pandemic, frontline health workers, a Cabinet minister, pastors and other citizens who refused to be identified as well as Malawians in diaspora.
President Lazarus Chakwera last week declared a State of National Disaster and appealed for help amid escalating Covid-19 cases in the country.
On Sunday, the President announced stiffer measures to contain the spread of the virus, including the closure of schools and limiting the number of public gatherings to 50 or less.
As of Sunday, 12 470 Malawians had tested positive for Covid-19 with 314 deaths and 6 036 recoveries registered.