CitiHope International and its partners have come to the rescue of Mzuzu Central Hospital (MCH) with drugs worth an estimated K124.5 million.
The organisation, together with MediShare and the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation franchise Carlsberg Malawi, on Wednesday presented drugs worth $183 000 (K124.5 million) to the Northern Region’s largest referral hospital.
Mzuzu is the newest addition to the project, which was initially targeting Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) and Zomba Central Hospital as well as Ekwendeni Mission Hospital.
Speaking on behalf of MHC when he received the medicine, Dr Ndayudi Phiri thanked the partners for the upshot, revealing the hospital is struggling with shortage of essential drugs so much that they started using some medicines soon after the consignment arrived last week.
Explained Phiri: “They came at a good time when some of these drugs, including augmenting syrup, cefuroxime tablets and cephalexin were not available. When we received them, we started using them right away and we had to put a stop-order to save some for this official presentation ceremony.”
Since 2012, CitiHope has been working with MediShare to procure medical equipment from the US and the Coca-Cola Foundation to transport them to selected hospitals in the country as well as Morocco, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Cameroon.
The four-year initiative is expected to end this year, but CitiHope country director Gabriel Musongole said there is hope for an extension if it proves a success.
He challenged the hospitals to always strive to achieve and share success stories instead of using the drugs for personal gains.
“Our prayer is that the drugs will not grow legs and vanish from the shelves, but will really help needy Malawians to access quality healthcare,” he said.
Drug pilferage is serious in Malawi, with the Ministry of Health estimating that the country loses an estimated K5.6 billion or a third of the drugs budget to theft. n