In its efforts to boost access to blood transfusions for hard-to-reach areas across the country, Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) is on a drive to place blood bank fridges in district hospitals that have several other health centres sorrounding it.
To meet its target, MBTS is engaging the private sector for funding contributions, which CDH Investment Bank has responded to by donating K2 million that goes towards the purchase of a blood bank fridge earmarked for Mangochi, whose outreach stations are Monkey Bay Health Centre and Muli Bwanji Mission Hospital.
Mangochi District Hospital currently accesses blood from Balaka-based centre for the MBTS, but its sorrounding remote health service institutions, Monkey Bay Health Centre and Muli Bwanji Mission Hospital, are challenged due to long distances.
At the official handover of the cheque at CDH Investment Bank head office in Blantyre, Chief Operating Officer, James Chikoti said “in life, some things are never considered or appreciated until it happens to you”.
“We have heard many horror stories of loved ones and strangers that have failed to access timely medical assistance because of non-availability of services due to distance. We have heard stories of mothers dying from pregnancy and childbirth related blood loss; accident victims that could not access blood.
“It is unfortunate that access to health facilities is difficult and expensive to get and we all have a role to play in contributing to enhance health services in our beloved country.
“CDH Investment Bank is honoured to give back to the community through this initiative that will contribute to saving lives,” said Chikoti, while emphasizing that as a specialist bank, they are committed to focusing their efforts on areas that may have been overlooked.
“This initiative fits in our corporate social responsibility policy which aims at supporting health initiatives that impact on the quality of health services in the areas where access to health care is limited.
“We share the ideals of MBTS in promoting access to health as we all know that health is wealth and this is our contribution to assisting those who cannot access blood services due to distance. We are honoured to partner with MBTS in such a worthy cause.”
In her vote of thanks, MBTS Chief Executive Officer, Natasha Nsamala said CDH Investment Bank’s “is a significant contribution which will boost MBTS’ effort in bringing blood transfusion services to hard-to-reach and distant areas”.
“We are truly grateful that CDH Investment Bank heeded our call for assistance in a very speedy manner,” she said. “They have set a good example of what corporate social responsibility really entails and we trust that more organisations will follow suit.
“As we are beginning to rebuild our economy after the devastating effects of CoVID-19 and the recent Cyclones that hit the country, one key lesson we can draw is that we achieve more when we build partnerships such as these when we pool our resources together to tackle challenges such as these.”
Nsamala took cognizance that such partnerships are needed if the country is to realise MW2063, whose agenda is towards ’an inclusive wealthy and self-reliant nation’.
MBTS supplies blood to over 90 hospitals spread across the country — Central, district, rural and CHAM health facilities, which are authorized to carry out blood transfusions.
The organisation supplies blood products such as whole blood; red cell concentrates; platelets; fresh frozen plasma and cryoprecipitate though its centres in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Balaka where hospitals are required to collect from.
“This poses a serious challenge for hospitals that are located in remote areas, making it difficult for them to access blood,” Nsamala said. “A serious consequence of this limited access is that such hospitals resort to asking relatives and friends to donate blood for the patient.
“This family replacement blood donation arrangement has got many challenges and may compromise blood safety” thus placing the blood banks in strategic centres to break the distance between the remote hospitals and MBTS centres.
The organisation has already placed one each at district hospitals for Karonga and Kasungu as well as one at Ngabu rural hospital and Nsamala reiterated her call to other private corporate institutions to emulate the gesture by CDH Investment Bank.
The state-of-the-art blood bank with a capacity of 1,000 pints that was placed at Ngabu rural hospital was wholly donated by Illovo Sugar Malawi Plc early this month, to cater for both district hospitals of Chikwawa and Nsanje — which is increasing access to blood units for the Lower Shire’s St. Montfort, Trinity, Ngabu Rural and Kalemba Mission hospitals.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :