Family donates scanning machine to St John’s Hospital

The family of Flument Mkinga on Thursday donated a K6.5 million Sonoscape Ultrasound Scanning Machine to Saint John’s Hospital in the city of Mzuzu.

Mkinga is Managing Director for a local Non-Governmental Organisation called Development Action for Marginalised Rural Areas (DAMRA) based in Rumphi. But the whole idea of procuring and donating the important equipment to the hospital emanates from a family experience hinging on his first-born daughter’s illness.

Mkinga’s daughter, Maria, developed a serious ill heath condition to do with her heart. Doctors at Saint John’s Hospital discovered that there was a tiny hole on her heart. When referred to Mzuzu Central Hospital, the Mkinga family was told a surgery for her condition could only be done abroad.

Then Laura Shoes, a German partner to Flument Mkinga through DAMRA, informed her parents in Germany about Maria’s situation and with the help of a number of German journalists, they managed to mobilise financial resources for Maria’s treatment. When Maria arrived in Germany, doctors ruled out a surgery and monitored her condition with other medical assistance for up to three months until she got better.

“Then the money that was realised was still there and that’s when they decided that we can buy this kind of machine and donate it to the hospital that identified the problem.

“We know that this machine will help many other people because the hospital has well qualified and trained personnel in all departments including the radiography department but they lack the right equipment like this one,” Mkinga told Nyasa Times.

Principal Nursing Officer at the hospital, Nancy Kamwendo, hailed the gesture by the Mkinga family while bemoaning old equipment that the hospital uses.

“Most of the equipment that we have are very old and old modelled. We do have a lot of patients that need a lot of investigative procedures but our equipment does not adequately cater for that.

“Receiving this modern scanning machine today is a plus to Saint John’s because we receive a lot of patients in our non-communicable disease clinics,” explained Kamwendo.

29-year-old Maria Mkinga is an Early Childhood Development student at Malawi Assemblies of God University.

“It was so serious and I failed to graduate last year because of the same problem but I am better now and will graduate this year in November,” she explained.

Among other things, the machine is able to scan the liver, the spleen, the heart, gynae conditions and blood movement.

Saint John’s Hospital was built by Catholic missionaries in 1962.

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