By Ireen Kayira, MANA
Hospital in Charge for Chadza health centre in Lilongwe has said the hospital has been running without Personal Protective Equipments ( PPEs) for months during the wake of Covid 19.
Speaking during the donation of Covid 19 prevention equipment by SOS Children’s Village at the health centre on Friday in Lilongwe, hospital in charge Sheila George said this has been a major challenge considering that the hospital serves a population of about 70 thousand.
“The time we received Covid 19 protective equipment face masks for example, it was in the month of March when the pandemic had just hit the country.
“They brought a box of A95 face mask which contains about 40 masks and we were told to use for one week and after those masks were exhausted we were not supplied with other masks up until this week on Wednesday when we have received other masks.
She said all these months they were running the hospital without Person Protective Equipments (PPEs) and it was difficult to work under such circumstances.
She further said it was hard because not only was the equipments needed at the centre but also in the village clinics that are under the health centre.
However she said to protect themselves they had their personal initiatives where may managed to find cloth masks.
She therefore said the equipments that SOS children village international has donated to the hospital will go a long way.
The items that SOS Children village international donated were worth K1.8 million which was taken from the 11.5 million which has been set aside to fight the pandemic of Covid 19.
The items were face masks, heavy duty aprons, buckets, chlorine, gloves among others and will be used at the hospital as well as Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and peer educators.
SOS Children Village Program Director Steven Nyirenda said that they of the view that the pandemic is real as such they wanted to protect their partners they work with are protected.
He said apart from giving the items to the community and the hospital their coming to Chadza will assist the masses to take the issue of Covid 19 seriously.
“Covid 19 messages are being conveyed to the masses using different mediums such as the radio but it is hard for the rural masses to fully understand the messages because of the belief that it only affects people in urban areas or abroad.
“We hope that those that will not be able to access the donated masks will be encouraged with our coming to take it upon themselves to buy the face masks,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries from Chatha Village Dyless Sumaila said the only thing that they are doing is washing hands with soap to protect themselves from the virus which is challenging to most of the villages.
“It is hard for others to wash hands with soap because here in the village people are of the view that soap is used for household chores and bathing, so to take the same soap and put it out for washing hands is challenging,” she said.
Sumaila said SOS coming is helpful to the community because of the items that they have been assisted with and also it has encouraged those that thought that the pandemic is not real to find their own protective masks and follow the procedures.