Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) director of health and social services Gift Kawalazira has urged institutions and organisations to ensure their Covid-19 response revolves around healthcare workers.
He made the remarks yesterday when the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome (MLW) Trust donated assorted personal protective equipment (PPE) worth £1.2 million (about K1.2 billion) to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) and Blantyre DHO.
Said Kawalazira: “Healthcare workers are our first line of defence in the fight against Covid-19 and they need support to allow them do their work with ease and efficiency.
“This donation will ensure that they are protected when diagnosing, treating and taking care of Covid-19 patients.”
On his part, QECH deputy director Kelvin Mponda thanked MLW for the donation, saying the hospital has previously run out of PPE and had to make emergency orders to purchase them.
“Donations such as this one always come in handy. However, we still need plenty of PPE going forward because as the number of Covid cases continues rising, there is always a need for more protective gear for our healthcare workers,” he said.
Mponda said the hospital has three Covid wards and since June 17, it has had 40 patients, 27 of whom have been discharged while seven have died.
On her part, MLW associate director Janelisa Musaya said the donation was meant to support healthcare workers to the front line of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said: “Since we do not have a clear picture of how much devastation this disease will cause, it is better to take precautions. That is why we are donating the PPE for healthcare workers to protect themselves and continue responding to patients.”
The PPE donated include 48 500 N95 masks, 78 000 three-ply surgical masks, 159 000 plastic aprons, 27 000 disposable aprons and 207 000 gloves which will be supplied to QECH and Blantyre DHO for three months. The PPE will also be complemented by a laundry service for reusable gowns.