UNV facilitates donation of high-tech medical equipment at KCH again.

Jul 22, 2014

Mr. Patel and his wife handing over the equipment to Dr. Ngoma as Mr. Kulemeka (Far left) and Dr. Krishnan (far right) look on. PHOTO: Steve Kamponda, UNDP Malawi

Only two years after facilitating a donation to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), United Nations Volunteer Dr. Manighandan Sivarama Krishnan has made yet another significant contribution to the institution by engaging with a businessman, Mr. Kirit Patel to donate various high-tech medical apparatus.

A handover ceremony presided over by Dr. Ngoma, KCH Director and Mr. Peter Kulemeka of UNDP took place at the hospital on 22 July, 2014.

The equipment which is mainly used in chronic as well as acute pain management include three Ultra Sound Therapy Units, three Interferential Therapy Units, three Nerve-Muscle Stimulators, and two Shoulder Wheels.

According to Dr. Krishnan, the 4.5 million Kwacha donation, “has given a huge boost to the hospital’s capacity to efficiently and effectively treat serious injuries including nerve injuries and other non-communicable diseases like stroke.”

Dr. Krishnan facilitated a similar donation when he saw that the hospital was in dire need of equipment back in 2012. He appealed to some Asian entrepreneurs who managed to donate various equipment to the Physiotherapy Department. So far, the equipment has served over 11, 000 patients.

However, the number of patients requiring treatment through the equipment has been steadily going up, which is increasing the amount of time a patient waits to get treatment.

Earlier this year, Mr. Patel brought a colleague to the hospital for nerve injury treatment after various private hospitals failed. When they met Dr. Krishnan, he managed to treat the patient properly despite a one hour and a half wait during which more than twenty other patients received similar treatment. This is what prompted Mr. Patel to consider making the donation - an addition to the equipment that was donated back in 2012, which has now increased access to better treatment for patients.

“With this equipment, the rehabilitation is quick and achieves far greater and independent stabilisation.

“As a hospital we are determined to save lives, but on the other hand we are also there to improve the quality of life that we save. This equipment ensures that the person returns to productive life after recovery,” said Dr. Krishnan.

The UNV programme which placed Dr. Krishnan at KCH is implemented by UNDP in Malawi through the Capacity in Health Programme. The Programme was conceived to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Health to deliver quality health services to Malawians in line with the Essential Health Package (EHP).

To date, over 200 doctors have been recruited under the programme, which has led to the reduction of the doctor to patient ratio from 1:60,000 to 1:30,000 as well as a 50% reduction in waiting time by patients on doctors among other things.

Speaking on behalf of UNDP, Mr. Kulemeka thanked Mr. Patel for his gesture of generosity and thanksgiving and also commended Dr. Krishnan’s initiative to facilitate everything.

“We know that behind the donation were the efforts made by UN volunteers, Mr. Krishnan and colleagues who, apart from performing functions for which they were recruited, went a long way to do more in terms of trying to fill gaps in many different ways,” said Mr. Kulemeka.

Despite this donation, KCH still faces a wide range of equipment related constraints that, if left unresolved, could greatly limit the contribution the UNV doctors are making. With only four referral hospitals in the country against a population of 15 million people, there is need to ensure that the hospitals have the doctors as well as sufficient modern equipment to speed up and raise the quality of service delivery.

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