Charitable foundation on the cards for special attention to children’s hospital wards

A charitable organisation, Friends of Paediatric Wards Foundation, has  been formed to support to be mobilising resources to support children’s wards (paediatrics) in the country’s four referral hospitals.

Lead founder, Regina Mwanza-Ng’ombe said the idea to form the Foundation has been necessitated by the growing demand of services in the paediatric wards of central hospitals of Kamuzu, Queen, Zomba and Mzuzu — which are always underequipped.

Mwanza-Ngombe said among others, the Foundation will be mobilising resources for procurement of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, heaters for premature babies and other medical supplies critical for the wards.

Lead founding member Regina Mwanza-Ng’ombe

“This Foundation will seek to forge strategic partnerships with individuals and other institutions and companies, both local and international, to drive its fund-raising activities and provide support to children in different areas of the country.”

She referred to a study she once read whose findings indicated that government’s regular supplies to Malawi hospitals is 80% of the requested lot.

Mwanza-Ngombe, who is also co-founder of Lilongwe-based Mphanje Private Schools, has been involved in various charitable activities, including mobilising her pupils and parents to support Area 18 Health Centre nutrition unit, and reaching out to under-privileged children at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH.

“I lost one of my sons, Steven, in 2006 to sickle cell disease,” she said. “He was being managed and being followed up at KCH paediatrics department from 1990 until 2006, when he was airlifted to South Africa on January 27 and eventually died on January 30.

Special hospital at Queens built by international pop star Madonna

“Since this loss, my passion for hospitalised children has been growing stronger every day and I am glad that today we have managed to set this up — together with other well-meaning individuals.”

Other founding members include counsel doctors Gift Nankhuni and Yamikani Chimalizeni from Queens, Treasure Maliainga and Yebo Nyondo from KCH paediatrics.

Others members of the Foundation, which is currently undergoing registration processes, include Lion George Chirombe, Lion Modesta Banda Kanjaye and former director of sanitation in the Ministry of Water & Sanitation.

KCH Director, Jonathan Ngoma welcomed the initiative, saying referral health institutions like KCH are always under pressure when it comes to resources.

“I applaud the people who came up with this idea because we always look for partners – be it individuals or organisations – to support us with a box of gloves, or anything.

“A referral hospital like KCH is where most patients go after visiting public and private hospitals. So the demand outweighs our ability to provide the required services: that is why we need people to come in and support our hospital,” he said.

The country has a special children’s hospital which international pop star Madonna’s Raising Malawi charity built as a gift to Malawi for providing her to adopt Mercy James.

The facility, Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, is situated on the grounds of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.

The 56 bed hospital was opened by Madonna herself in 2017 — a ceremony that even former President Peter Mutharika graced.

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