Lack of ventilators in Malawi will see more die to coronavirus

Malawi needs to   steps up efforts to address shortage of ventilators in public hospitals —which provide roughly 80 percent of health care services in the country —  due to  coronavirus (Covid-19) threat as more lives will be lost if  the pandemic gets to the country.

 A doctor in the intensive Care Unit at Kamuzu Central Hospital in a file photo taken three years go when Norway donated equipment

The World Health Organization has urged all countries to “optimize the availability” of lung ventilation equipment, which assists or replaces breathing functions for critically ill patients, pumping oxygen into the blood to keep organs functioning.

“Oxygen therapy is the major treatment intervention for patients with severe Covid-19,” the organization said.

All the four central hospitals—Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre, Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe, Zomba Central Hospital  and Mzuzu Central Hospital—just have a combined 17 respiratory machines available in their intensive care units (ICUs).

According to Ministry of Health source, KCH has five ventilators and one is strictly for Very Important People (VIP), while QECH has four, including one reserved for staff members. Zomba and Mzuzu central hospitals are also surviving on four each.

A Ministry of Health source said ventilator shortages have been known about for years, adding that the  government has been “very slow” to address this issue.

The medical experts warn that if the critical shortage of the lifesaving machines  is not addressed and the pandemic hits the country, many people will die, urging government to look for extra machines.

Professor Adamson Muula—a senior lecturer in public health at the College of Medicine (CoM)—agrees that lack of adequate ventilators in ICU signals trouble, especially for a pandemic that has more patients surviving on ventilators.

In quotes reported by The Nation daily newspaper, Muula said the Ministry of Health should also be  employing the non-employed doctors and nurses to beef up the human resources capacity to respond to the Covid-19 threat.

“We cannot, however, just recruit and deploy newly graduated health workers without retraining in infection prevention and giving them the necessary personal protective equipment,” observed Muula.

Muula  also said with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is wise to revise the  risk allowance for  front-line  medical staff  from the current meager  K1 800.

Government has announced that it has set aside K15 billion to respond to Covid-19, but it has not spelled out how it intends to use this emergency fund.

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Nasingwe
Nasingwe
1 year ago

yes ma ventilators asowadi pa Mw pano. ndipo zikaphulika kuti anthu agonekedwa, palibe opita kunja mwai wake. tose pompano. tilibe thumba lapedera kodi??? kapena thumba limeneli ndi lomwe amangotapa osalimberana. K91 million ku mzuzu till today palibe angaloze kunapita iyo. palibe anafusidwa. K3 billion Mera 49 hospitals in the Northas it was written will be renovated. zilipatipo? Minister of health an individual wa certificate ya accounts. tili limodzi???????? $2 trillion set aside for corona virus in another country. ife sikuti sitingathe. koma umbombo. mwazitapa mwatapaso. Bingu ananena kuti malamulo amakoza mdi aphungu kunyumba ya malamulo as the name says. TILI… Read more »

Banda
Banda
1 year ago
Reply to  Nasingwe

It’s true. M’zatonse basi. Palibe wopita kuchipatala kunja because borders are closed everywhere and planes are grounded. And health systems in all countries are focusing on their own corona-virus problem.

Munlo
Munlo
1 year ago
Reply to  Banda

Thumba lapadera lipita ku the useless zisankho.

sudzo
sudzo
1 year ago

eeetu lelo getu ma allowance tho pokaonetsa mafumu kusamba mmanja.
dzana getu, nkazi cimulilenji went abroas for shopping spree, son’s graduation. on our taxes.
noone has ever been reprimanded out of all corruption,thefty cases,
yeah ventilators could not have been an issue here.

Tizanka
Tizanka
1 year ago

Is it certain that more will die is it confirmed that people will die or they would die? Penapake zolemba zathu za a Malawi nzovunda

Cadet
1 year ago
Reply to  Tizanka

You are shortsighted my brother. You will learn the hard way nkhwangwa ili mmutu.

M'mwaaaaaa
M'mwaaaaaa
1 year ago

Ndiye boma la dpp limenelo iwo adziwa kuba basi, this was well known 4 years ago but did nothing and yet 1 billion kungobedwa mwa chisawawa, ndiye chitsiru china chizigokuwabe chala m’mwamba chala m’mwamba

Tatopa
1 year ago

It’s true but we should know that even those with best ventilators are getting it. Did The British Prime Minister not have ventilators,yet he was tested positive. Let’s keep praying to our God and take also outlined preventive measures

CORONA VIRUS
CORONA VIRUS
1 year ago
Reply to  Tatopa

very true ,May our good lord save us

Emma
1 year ago
Reply to  Tatopa

It’s not about getting it but survival after getting , ventilators are crucial to this kind of disease.

DPP
DPP
1 year ago
Reply to  Tatopa

But the ventilators keep their life going when the virus get them. Do not think like a snail.

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