Machinga District Hospital, which serves over 600 000 people, has been operating with only one functional wheelchair, it has been established.
In view of this, Machinga Development Association (MDA) on Friday donated six wheelchairs to ease mobility of patients at the hospital.
Speaking during handover, MDA chairperson Brighton Mbaya said it was sad that a district hospital, which also acts as a referral to rural hospitals and clinics, could operate with only one wheelchair.
“A wheelchair may look simple but its importance to guardians as well as hospital attendants who would like to move a patient from a ward to the bathroom, toilet or theatre cannot be overemphasised. When the association learnt that there was only one functional wheelchair, we felt duty-bound to come in and help fellow brothers and sisters of Machinga,” he said.
Mbaya said the group, which comprises 100 people from Machinga who work or reside elsewhere, started in 2016 and focuses on health, education, agriculture and environmental protection.
Machinga district health officer (DHO) Anorld Kapachika said they need at least 12 wheelchairs for the hospital to function properly.
“We are grateful for this timely gesture, but we ask other well-wishers to help us with solar panels as we experience between 12 and 22 hours of blackout daily as the generator we have can only supply power to three areas which cripples some vital hospital operations,” he said. n