US-based AFYA Foundation donates medical supplies to Malawi

A New York based organization, AFYA Foundation, has pledged to support President Mrs. Joyce Banda’s initiatives towards improving maternal health in Malawi.

The founder of AFYA Foundation, Danielle Butin made the pledge on Friday when she handed over a container full of assorted medical equipment and supplies to Malawi’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Esther Mcheka Chilenje Nkhoma.

Chilenje Nkhomawitnessed the loading of the shipment on behalf of the Malawi Government, at a ceremony held at the organization’s headquarters in Yonkers, New York, United States of America.

The shipment, valued at over US$300,000 (over K93 million) contains a range of hospital items such as mattresses, gynecological and obstetrical supplies and equipment, medical carts, lighting sources, wheelchairs, among other items.

Malawi’s Deputy Permanent Represenative Mrs Esther Mcheka Chilenje Nkhoma (right) shakes hands with Danielle Butin

“We are hoping that this is the first container of what would be many,” said Butin, adding that her organization plans to make this an ongoing support for the President’s vision for maternal health in Malawi.

Butin said AFYA began its work in Malawi several years ago by supporting the work of Partners in Health who were refurbishing a hospital in Neno.

“Years later I had the privilege of meeting the then Vice President Joyce Banda, who came to speak at an event that was held at AFYA warehouse in Yonkers,” said Butin adding that at that time Banda had highlighted the many problems that many women in and girls face when giving birth.

“At that moment I was committed to finding a way to support her vision for maternal health,” Danielle Butin said.

“Healthcare is a human right that belongs to everyone,” she added.

Speaking on behalf of the Government of Malawi, Chilenje Nkhoma noted that one of the biggest challenges in Malawi’s hospitals is shortage of medical equipment.

She therefore hoped that the donated items will go a long way in saving the lives of mothers and new born babies in many parts of the country.

Chilenje Nkhoma applauded AFYA Foundation for the donation, adding that the medical items will assist in reducing problems encountered by mothers across Malawi during and after giving births.

“The vision of our President is to reduce maternal and neonatal death through the Presidential Initiative for Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood in Malawi,” said Chilenje Nkhoma adding that,

“This donation has come at the right time as it will help in achieving the President’s passion towards her vision of maternal health and safe motherhood in Malawi,” she said.

AFYA Foundation was established in 2008 with a mission to recover targeted surplus medical supplies, hospital equipment and humanitarian provisions from the New York healthcare, corporate and private communities in order to establish categorized inventory to support ongoing health initiatives in Africa and the Caribbean.

This shipment is the first one of its kind to Malawi.

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