Two Malawians based in Botswana will next month November cycle for up to 94.7 kilometres in South Africa to raise funds towards the purchase of a heart machine. Gaffar Hassam (Group Chief Executive Officer at Botswana Life) and Nezala Phiri, (Finance Manager at Unitrans Botswana) will sponsor the equipment at the node of Dr. Jonathan Ngoma.
The cardiac equipment will be fitted at the Cardiac Unit of Kamuzu Central Hospital in the capital city, Lilongwe.
Phiri through the two’s Facebook page, Kamuzu Central Hospital – Cycle for Charity said that in line with the spirit of the Momentum 94.7 Ride for a Purpose, Mr. Nezala Phiri and Mr. Gaffar Hassam will participate in this year’s Cycle Tour in November at the Riversands Commercial Park, Fourways.
“The event attracts more than 30,000 cyclists and is a 94.7 km distance. More can be read on momentum www.cyclechallenge.co.za. You also find us on Facebook, KCH Ride for Charity, for details of ourjourney,” he said, adding: “Preparing for the big day I am in the gym for an hour’s spinning and a bit of weight training after that. Wish me luck.”
Kamuzu Central Hospital is a government referral hospital in Lilongwe Malawi. It is one of the only three referral hospitals in the country.
“Malawi has a population of over 12 million people. Though the Government does all it can to support this hospital, the needs are just too many. We have therefore seen it fit to do our part to help this worthy cause. We have the authorization from the Hospital Director Dr. Jonathan Ngoma to proceed with this noble initiative,” he said, adding the donation will be used to purchase the equipment that will be handed over in December this year.
There will be no cash donations.
Out of this Cardiac Unit’s many requirements, Phiri who has a serious heart condition that could be properly diagnosed in Malawi and nearly took his life, and Hassam who rides with Phiri for leisure and fun, have chosen to acquire an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine and Defibrillators.
Hassam posted that: “…our inspiration is out of anger of Malawi beingreferred to as a poor country. This has to change and starting with us. Also out of the pain of seeing so much unnecessary suffering in Malawi hospitals due to lack of proper facilities and medication.”
A list of requirements in the KCH Cardiac Unit is attached.
When providing donations, KCH administration advises that for any details on specifications a hand-over of donations should have hand out product descriptions and possibly guarantee cards and receipts to assure appropriate use and maintenance, and donors should make sure to
receive a written receipt as documentation.
Donations to be made to Dr Jonathan Ngoma (Head of Department), Dr. Clara Schlaich (Academic Lead, Dpt of Medicine/ College of Medicine), and Dr. Charles Munthali (Senior Clinician).
A Malawian resident in Botswana, Mark Chipeta, informed Nyasa Times of the charity ride. He said: “Some of you are broadcasters and could use your slot to raise the awareness. The good thing about this is that some of us within the group could directly benefit from the initiative. Life has its own fun ways!”
There have so far been some overwhelming support for the initiative on the social media and on other platforms. A Tiwonge Ndlovu has since donated MWK50,000, Troth Saindi and Noel Kabambe have donated P400 and MWK20,000 respectively.
Others include Mr. and Mrs. J. Zabula for a P1,000 donation, and the pledges came from Mayamiko Chilinkhwambe with SAR1,000, Shenton Banda who matched it with SAR1,000, Rich Fred Katimba has pledged to honourthe effort with £30, and Malinda T. Chinyama has pledged MKW30,000.
The Ride for a Purpose campaign provides a platform for cyclists to create awareness about personal causes close to their hearts. Over R12.5 million was raised last year and this year the challenge is encouraging riders and charities to get involved and top last year’s massive success.
The Joburg’s favourite race has reserved 8000 spots for charities to register their teams and for individuals who want to ride for their favourite charity.
“To date, hundreds of individual entrants, charities and organisations have chosen to heed this call to action, so why not join them?”
The Defribilator is about US$9,200 and the ECG machines range from US$D2,200 to US$6,000 each depending on the size and model.
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