Malawian entrepreneurs Hitesh and Meeta Anadkat have in a rare gesture of demonstrating the principle of the common good, donated K300 million to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre for the reconstruction of a state-of-the-art children’s emergency ward.
In an interview with Nyasa Times, Anadkat, who said was born at QECH, said he was appalled at the current state of the facility following a visit he made after some doctors had approached him to see if he could render help.
Much as QECH also caters for the Blantyre population, it is also the referral hospital for the southern region.
“I was shocked and saddened when they told me that even after a child dies there is no private room for the parents to grieve privately. They grieve in the presence of other children. This is not fair.
“And to make it worse, many of the surgical and treatment rooms are so small that it reaches an extent whereby children are treated in waiting areas. The resuscitation room is ill-equipped to handle multiple patients simultaneously.
“Actually it is sad that a facility that was designed to treat a population of twenty years ago has not changed a bit despite the boom in our population, and this is making life very difficult for vulnerable families and more specifically vulnerable children,” Anadkat said.
According to Anadkat, they [and his wife Meeta] understand that QECH is a flagship hospital for the commercial capital saying it was why they also funded the hospital’s Adult Emergency and Trauma Centre – alongside Liverpool Wellcome Trust – at a tune of K2 billion.
He said: “I must say that considering the conditions that our medical personnel work in here in Malawi, they are our unsung heroes who are passionate about saving our lives including those of children.”
On her part, Meeta Anadkat said their helping out was because they believe children are the future of the country.
“We understand that our national health budget is limited,” she said. “We thought of using our funds to get more value for money.”
Chairperson of Friends of Sick Children and Paediatric Emergency Medicine Consultant, Dr Josephine Langton, said the reconstruction project will go a long way in saving lives of thousands of children.
According to Langton, once completed the facility will, among others, have a fully equipped emergency room to take in all sick children which will in turn enable them to deliver excellent care.
“For example, we will be able to give teenagers the type of care that they need and the privacy they deserve. We will be able to provide to children coming with broken bones high quality care in a dedicated space. Above all, we will be energised and motivated to work in the new child-friendly facility where we will be able to deliver the level of care we know we can achieve.
“We are grateful to the Anadkat family, especially to Hitesh and Meeta. Many thanks to them. Their generous donation will help us save thousands of lives. We are also grateful because we never thought this would happen,” Dr. Langton said.
She added: “This project comprises three stages and the amazing donation by Hitesh and Meeta will pay for the first two. However, we still need to raise about MK200,000,000 to complete the project.
“This money is needed to complete the building works, create a child-friendly environment and buy all the necessary equipment. To match the funding from our amazing sponsor we have just launched a fund-raising appeal.”