A new K1.1 billion (about $1.6million) intensive care unit (ICU) at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe, constructed with funding from Norway, is ready for opening soon, it has been established.
The ICU has been constructed alongside the high dependency unit (HDU) and endoscopy unit.
The three units, according to Norwegian Church Aid project coordinator (infrastructure) Kondwani Msiska, are set to be opened as soon as a UPS, which should be able to take over for at least three hours in case of power outages, is installed.
He said: “The UPS is going to be installed very soon, just a couple of weeks and our part of this phase of the project will be over.”
KCH director Jonathan Ngoma has described the development as a big leap towards improving things at the hospital.
However, he hinted that the units may not be opened soon after the works complete because the hospital does not have the electricity capacity to power the equipment as such there is need for backup power which the hospital is expected to source.
Said Ngoma: “The experts say that if the three units have to run then we need as much power as to run the hospital’s elevator which are also equally important, as such there is need to buy a backup gen set for the new facilities to be operational.”
The ICU capacity has been improved from four beds to eight beds, the HDU has been improved from eight to eleven beds while the endoscopy is entirely new stand-alone unit at the hospital.
Ngoma said Norway came to the hospital’s rescue following demonstrations which the hospital staff staged in 2013 and petitioned members of Parliament (MPs). n