Malawi UK Nurses respond to Covid-19 dire state with Oxygen Cannulas donation

The Malawi United Kingdom Nurses Association (MUNA) has donated oxygen cannulas to some of the country’s largest and busiest health facilities so that they are well equipped following an escalation of Covid-19 infections in the country in the last few weeks.

One of Covid-19 most devastating effects on a patient is that it interferes with the respiratory system, and the oxygen cannulas, Nyasa Times has learnt, will help in easing the breathing.

The cannulas are devices used to deliver supplemental oxygen or increased airflow to a patient or person in need of respiratory help, and the devices consist lightweight tubes which on one end split into two prongs which are placed in the nostrils and from which a mixture of air and oxygen flows, a medical expert said.

Charity Gladstone MUNA President

MUNA president Charity Gladstone said they decided to make the donation after pictures circulated on social media showing nasal cannulas both standard and high flow being washed for re-use in some hospitals, a situation she said risked contamination and infection.

The donation, according to Gladstone, was received by the Nurses Organization of Midwives and Nurses of Malawi (NOMN) and the initial consignment was handed over to Kamuzu Central and Bwaila hospitals in the capital Lilongwe by NOMN executive director Regina Mankhamba.

Head nurse at Bwaila Hospital, Listen Mwemkenja, said they were grateful for the timely donation from fellow nurses living in the diaspora.

“These nasal cannulas have arrived at the right time of need. The hospital just admitted 72 patients who all required these nasal cannulas, and it was not easy to handle the situation since we were incapacitated. But we are excited now,” said Mwemkenja.

Patrick Vundule, MUNA vice president, lauded well-wishers and members for their key contributions towards the fundraising event which was initiated as a Go-Fund Project.

“This was followed by the selflessness of some Malawian Nurses based in UK who sacrificed massively in order to make sure that money is raised for Covid-19 relief efforts back home. Behind this success were sponsors like Veetee Rice who paid for airfreight to ensure the timely arrival of the cannulas in Malawi,” said Vundule.

Gladstone said MUNA continues to appeal for support from stakeholders as they continue to strive for excellence in healthcare in the country.

She said: “We will continue to play our role as far as our resources permit so that we address proverbial ailments in our health sector. Collectively, MUNA and our colleagues in Malawi have a wealth of expertise, and through integration and collaborative working we will do our best to address some of the challenges in realising the goal of Equitable Access to Health For All.”

According to Gladstone, MUNA was grateful to the UK and Malawi governments, Totally Care, Moto Money, African Union, Crown, Law Solicitors and Mibawa TV for their diverse support.

The donation is the first initiative by MUNA since it was officially launched virtually on July 17 2021, an event which was attended by state vice president Saulos Chilima, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda and British Africa Minister James Duddridge.

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