Blantyre-based vehicle repairing and panel beating company K Motors’ project of reviving broken ambulances for various health facilities is off the ground with the first ambulance delivered at Chikwawa District Hospital.
The company, in collaboration with singer and songwriter Patience Namadingo announced plans to embark on the project over a month ago after noting the challenges that most health facilities were facing in Malawi due to having inadequate number of ambulances in hospitals.
K Motors’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mansoor Karim said the delivery they have made for Chikwawa District Hospital is the first of the many that they have lined up. He said they are hoping to revive 11 more ambulances in the next 11 months.
He said: “I have a few friends who are district health officers and every time you have a chat with them you hear all the problems that they are facing in terms of transportation. That was when I sat down with Patience (Namadingo) and agreed on embarking on a project to revive ambulances that are grounded.
“Like here in Chikwawa one ambulance carters for 50,000 patients and having two ambulances down it means you have served 100,000 patients who cannot commute to the hospital. That was one of the most important things that moved us into this.”
He said they invested K3.2 million on the vehicle as by the time they were collecting it both the engine and gearbox had ceased.
Karim also hailed Ken Chem, a pharmaceutical company for providing sanitizers and disinfectant for the Ambulance especially in this Covid-19 era.
He said they have already identified other Ambulances to rehabilitate.
“We have received calls and pictures from so many areas. But after attending to a hospital from the southern region it is only fair that we now have to attend to either a hospital from the central or northern region. We will be rotating within the regions but we will also be looking at the necessity,” he said.
District Medical Officer for Chikwawa Dr Wamaka Musopole expressed his excitement at the gesture shown by K Motors saying that it will go a long way in addressing the transport challenges that the district is facing.
Musopole said with a population of 600,000 the district hospital ideally requires to have an ambulance for every 50 people with one placed in each of their six zones.
He said: “We have 15 health centres, three hospitals and the furthest health centre is about 90kms away from the district hospital. We always need to send an ambulance to go and ferry patients that need referral attention.”
Musopole said at the moment we only have three ambulances which are running but there is need to have at least three more ambulances operational.
On his part, Namadingo said the project is one way of giving back to the society: “Looking at the service that ambulances provide and the need that is there to have a sufficient number of them we thought it was one area that need particular attention.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :