There are many problems facing ordinary Malawians today—from food shortages to lack of clothing and shelter.
In addition, while the high and medium income earners can afford paying services for health care, lowest income earners still rely on free health services provided in public facilities. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen.
The Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI) 2016 Malawi country report 2016 covering the period between February 2013 and 31 January 2015 indicates that the poverty and inequality levels in Malawi remain high with the richest 10 percent of the population having an average per capita income that is nine times higher than the average per capita income of the poorest 10 percent.
A lot of times, public health facilities (offering free services) do not have the necessary equipment and drugs to tackle most of health challenges people face; or they are in short supply. This leaves the poor at risk of death or living with the pain of whatever problem they have.
The desire to be a part of the solution to some of the challenges facing the country is what drove Lilongwe-based Duwa Mvula to do something. Beyond You started as an idea from the founder, Mvula, who after finishing her university studies began to strategise different ways in which the nation, especially the youth, can effect positive changes.
An initiative started by Beyond You dubbed Strides of Hope (SoH) was then hatched to raise funds for buying equipment in the Paediatric High Dependency Unit (HDU) at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe. To realise the dream, $31 329 (about K21.7 million) are required.
“SoH is an initiative started by Beyond You, a non-profit organisation geared to respond to the needs of the Malawian society through various initiatives centered on creativity, challenge and sacrifice. It comprises a team of young, passionate Malawians who have realised that the country needs young people to respond to the pressing and urgent needs of the society,” explains Mvula.
She believes everyone can make a difference right where they are and cause positive change in society.
The main activity of the initiative is a week-long 361-kilometre walk—from KCH in Lilongwe to College of Medicine in Lilongwe—scheduled from May 21 to May 28 2016.
Taking part in the walk will be seven people who will be supported by a team of five specialists, including two doctors, media personnel and security officers.
“We are confident that this will raise attention towards the project and consequently elicit hope that we as a nation can take the extra mile to effect positive changes in our society. The sheer determination to see a change in the hospital will be displayed through this challenging expedition,” says Mvula.
With the funds, they expect to furnish six HDU beds in the paediatric ward with life-saving medical equipment such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine, nebulisers, patient monitors and suction machines. These will be provided to the hospital and the HDU ward will be painted to brighten the room and provide an ambience suitable for children.