Government, UNDP commend UN volunteer doctors

Aug 3, 2012

Dr. Sivarama (in white robe) demonstrating the operations of one of the equipment to UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Ms. Naomi Kitahara and her entourage at Kamuzu Central Hospital. Photo: UNDP Malawi

The Government of Malawi and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have commended UN Volunteer doctors for their initiatives aimed at providing quality healthcare services to Malawians.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative (Programme) Ms. Naomi Kitahara and Deputy Director of Kamuzu Central Hospital commended the UN Volunteer doctors during the handover of medical equipment to the Physiotherapy Department donated by Deekay Suppliers, sourced by one of the UNDP supported UN  Volunteer Physiotherapist, Dr. Maningadan Sivarama

Deekay Suppliers Limited is one of the big business investors in the country. The donated equipment is worth MWK 4.5million

The donated items which include a muscle stimulator, standing frame, corner seats, standing fans, a space heater and theurapeutic aids will among others, be used to prevent and reverse disability due to stroke, nerve injuries, pain management, rehabilitation of children and adult with disabilities , air circulation and cross ventilation for patients on exercise therapy.

In her remarks, Ms. Kitahara said Dr. Sivarama sourced the equipment after noting that more than 40 percent of the patients who seek medical attention at the Physiotherapy Department are not provided with adequate treatment due to shortage of equipment among other challenges.

“Due to this challenge, the UN Volunteer Dr. Maningadan appealed to several of his friends including Mr. Subash Patel, to lobby to support for the basic equipment that the department is in dire need of providing quality medical care services for patients with stroke and paralysis,”

“Mr. Subah Patel of Deekay Suppliers Limited decided to buy the equipment that is being donated to the hospital today to support other needy Malawians who have suffered from stroke and paralysis. With this support, hundreds of children and adults will be able to receive quality care and treatment and be able to return to normal or near normal life and continue to be productive citizens of this country,” she said.

The Deputy Resident Representative then thanked the Ministry of Health for their continued collaboration and partnership, which she said was aimed at improving the delivery of health services in the country and improve the quality of life for Malawians. She also thanked Mr. Patel for donating what she described as the much needed equipment to Kamuzu Central Hospital.

Ms. Kitahara explained that since 2004, over 200 Un Volunteer doctors had complimented Government’s efforts of delivering essential health services at district and central hospitals throughout the country.

She said through the UNDP Capacity Development in Health Project funded by the Global Fund to Fight Tuberculosis, HIV and Malaria, UNDP, working closely with the Ministry of Health had recruited had recruited over 200 specialist and general practitioner doctors deployed in district and central hospitals.

The Deputy Resident Representative further explained that the UN Volunteer doctors, while working under challenging conditions characterised by congestion of patients in wards, shortage of doctors, drugs and equipment and working overtime had remained dedicated to their work of delivering quality healthcare services to Malawians and developing the capacity and transferring skills to the local medical personnel.

Ms. Kitahara said the donated equipment to the Physiotherapy Department at Kamuzu Central Hospital was just one of the many initiatives that the UN Volunteer Doctors had come up with. She said in the past, the UN Volunteer doctors had also sourced medical equipment which was donated to the Intensive Care Unit of the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre and Zomba Central Hospital, established a special Heart Clinic at Mzuzu Central Hospital.

The UN Volunteer Doctors have also established a Diabetic Clinic at Nkhotakota District Hospital, introduced a special dental outreach programme for primary school children in Zomba district provided bed side clinical training to medical interns/students and other health workers at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre as well as other referral hospitals in Lilongwe, Zomba and Mzuzu.

“The UN Volunteer Doctors have given it all-their experience, efforts, time, skills and knowledge to  make a difference in the delivery of essential health services but  above all, to save lives of Malawians,” she added.

In his remarks, Kamuzu Central Hospital Deputy Director said the donated equipment came at a right time when the hospital, particularly the Physiotherapy department was experiencing acute shortage of equipment.

He explained that the department caters for a wide range of clients premature babies, children with cerebral palsy, pregnant women, patients recovering from heart conditions, stroke, major surgical conditions and conditions associated with old age

“According to the list, one of the donated equipment is a neuromuscular stimulator. It has been a long desire or should I say a long dream for the department to have a neuromuscular stimulator. Today, it is a great day when our dream has become a reality. There is also an electronic traction, ultrasound machine and a gait lab to put quality of life back to patients recovering from stroke. This will help reduce disability burden and care of physically challenged people in society,” he said.

He then urged the department personnel to take good care of the equipment and always consult when not sure of how to operate the equipment. He also thanked Mr. Patel and UNDP for the donation.

The Deputy Hospital Director also thanked UNDP for their continued support, highlighting among others, the human resources support that UNDP provides to the hospital. He said Kamuzu Central Hospital had 20 UN Volunteer Doctors.

“As you recall Madam, the hospital has limited human resources especially for specialised departments. We have recently received a UNV Neurosurgeon who has been recruited through UNDP. This is a milestone will reduce the number of patients who present with head injuries and brain tumours from being referred to other hospitals within and outside the country.

On his part, Mr. Patel said it’s their social responsibility to give back to their clients, hence the donation. He explained that for over 35 years, his company and prospered and that it was a moral obligation to give back to the people.

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