Malawi: Medicines save hospital

Lilongwe: A stock of medicines donated by World Vision's Micro Nutrient & Health Program (MICAH) as gift in kind (GIK) last week saved Malawi's second biggest referral hospital, which is located in the capital Lilongwe.
According to Dr Dan Namarika, Deputy Head of Medical Department at Lilongwe Central Hospital the medicines and surgical equipment donated came just in time because most of the stock had run out.

"This indeed, believe me, is the right donation coming at the time because most of the essential drugs and medical equipment included in this consignment are out of stock at the central hospital," said Dan Namarika who was leading a group of medical personnel that came to receive the donation. The gift in kind (GIK) consignment included surgical equipment like forceps, syringes and gloves; sharp collectors, drugs like famotidine, various syrups and essential antibiotics; diagnostic kits such as dural needles, pregnancy test kits; infusion sets and fluid like dextrose.

"All the drugs and surgical equipment we've received are not available at the central hospital," said Georgina Singano, a senior nurse at the hospital.

The donation that stunned the team most was a brand new cold room with its huge compressor and engine. The set constitutes unassembled parts: insulated walls, a floor, a roof, and huge compressor.

Dr Namarika and his team declined to receive the compressor saying that it was so big a donation that needed to be handed over to the Ministry of Health and Population at a special ceremony suggestively presided over by the Minister himself in the Ministry.

Dr Namarika and the medical team, clearly happy with the gift, said the donation was a big saving to the hospital and government and that it will make their lives much easier.

"Such a donation will make our lives easier because sometimes you don't know what to do with the patients even when a diagnosis is done. What is more, it's a big saving to the hospital and the government."

Mrs Rose Namarika, programme Manager for the Micro-Nutrients and Health Programme (MICAH) in Malawi, a Canadian funded programme, said that she chose to donate the medicines and equipment to Lilongwe Central Hospital primarily because most of the stock was not suitable for health centers or district hospitals.

She also said that Lilongwe central hospital knows the needs of district hospitals and health centers and was better placed to distribute the goods. Also, she said the programme wanted to ensure that the drugs were immediately dispensed since she learnt that they were urgently needed by the hospital.

And of course, finally Rose was quick to point out that previous GIK medicines were donated to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the South and St John Hospital in the North.

Dr Dan Namarika confirmed that most of the drugs such as antibiotics like cephalexin and surgical equipment like lung forceps could not be used in district hospitals let alone health centers but were most suitable at a referral hospital like Lilongwe.