Medical Aid Society of Malawi (MASM) on Thursday officially signed a contract with Malawi-based health facilitators, Pelican Medics Ltd that gives VIP Scheme members a broader choice of seeking medical attention abroad in medically advanced Egypt.
The official contract signing follows a trial principle agreement done last year and after the success of sending three patient treatments to Egypt, MASM management got the assurance to formalize the deal.
At the signing ceremony at their office in Blantyre, MASM brought along a recent case of a patient, Esther Matekenya, who gave a moving testimony that she was on the verge of getting paralysed but just four hours after her operation in Egypt, she managed to get out of her bed unaided.
She testified that she had not at all confident that she had been healed but at the encouragement of her specialist doctors, she walked along the corridors of the hospital without feeling any pain.
Before travelling to Egypt in January, Matekenya had been bed-ridden having developed some pain on her pelvis, which she first felt last year and after visiting some doctors, she was advised to be doing physio exercises.
But the physios exacerbated her problem up to the point of being bed-ridden and upon consulting MASM of her need to seek treatment abroad, she was advised to go to Egypt.
Throughout her preparations for the trip, she was in such excruciating pain that when she at some point was taking morphine because painkillers couldn’t work on her.
“I was transported to the airport and helped into the plane on a stretcher for the long flight to Cairo,” she testified. “We were accommodated in a 5-star hotel close to the hospital I was taken to day after arrival (January 22).
“The following day, I was admitted at the hospital, whose wards are just like a 5-star hotel — complete with all necessary facilities that also has an extra bed which my accompanying husband used.
“The next day of being admitted (January 24) I was taken to the theatre where I was amazed of the many operating theatres there which cater for different specialty cases.”
She further said she never felt anything throughout the operation and even after she regained consciousness on her hospital bed from her medically induced sleep.
She had been strapped to some tube on her chest from which she was advised to press on whenever she felt any pain as it contained some pain killers.
“The only discomfort was that my back was stiff but I didn’t feel any pain at all — only I couldn’t bend my back till now. But I was assured that once the back heals with time I would be able to bend forward.
“I kept being taken by surprise by the hospitality accorded to me throughout by the doctors assigned to me, who came on my second day after operation that I would be discharged the following day (January 26).
“In the condition I was in before my trip to Cairo, I expected to be ill from the effects of the operation though I was assured that despite it being very complicated I would be just fine.
“Thus I was incredulous when the doctor came into my room and said, ‘why are you still on your bed? Come, get out of your bed’. I couldn’t believe it when I managed to get out of the bed and walked into the room without the aid of a walking stick.”
True to the doctors’ word, she was discharged back to their hotel where they stayed on for another observation six days later where she was told she could safely travel back home.
During the six days, she spent time sightseeing with her husband and daughter without having any pain at all and was able to have a comfortable flight back home on February 3.
She also disclosed that the doctors first diagnosed that she had some fibers in her heart that affected her breathing and using only computers, they managed to remove the fibers through some tubes they had inserted on her thigh.
“They have amazing equipment in Egypt, and every patient is assigned a specialized doctor from the army of them they have. Thanks to MASM, lives will now be saved through this partnership they have with Pelican Medics — who made our travel arrangements and our stay there easier for us.”
The Egyptian doctors also made their own diagnosis which was quiet not what Malawian medical personnel had said she was suffering from.
“I am willing to vouch and testify that Malawians needing specialized treatment abroad, should try going to Egypt — they would come back healed, trust me,” she said.
MASM’s Chief Investment Officer Bernard Ambali was all smiles as Matekenya narrated her testimony and said they are now satisfied that Pelican Medics will add a wider option for their VIP Scheme members through Egypt.
“We have had patients seeking medical services abroad in India and the SADC, especially South Africa, but now they have the wider choice of Egypt — which we have verified is a one-stop medical nation with world renowned specialized doctors.
“Through testimonies from Mrs Matekenya and the other patients, it gave us the confidence to formalize our principle agreement into an official contract.
“We have verified that indeed Egypt is one of the countries with the most advanced medical services with various specialized doctors and that Pelican Medics provides their services in a very professional manner as facilitators,” he said.
Pelican Medics Director, Tarek Beshir added credence, saying Egyptians never seek medical attention in Europe of the US, saying everything is available from the multiple health facilities they have.
He said they facilitate the acquisition of visas through the Egyptian Embassy in Lilongwe, arranges flight travel logistics from Malawi and a delegation meets the patient upon arrival at the airport after booking their hotel.
“The patient is required to pay for their air travel costs and accommodation and in the case of Mrs Matekenya, she advised us to look for a hotel that shouldn’t exceed US$70 a day.
“What she has called a 5-star hotel actually cost her US$64. I must also say all the other patients we sent to Egypt never exceeded 100% of the allocation that MASM provides for VIP Scheme.
“From the diagnosis that a patient is suffering from, we first identify a specialty doctor — not a hospital because there are just too many of them.
“The doctor we identify then chooses the hospital the patient should be taken to and from the diagnosis, several specialty doctors are assigned to that particular patient.
“We always identify a hotel that is closer to the hospital recommended by our contact doctor to ease our patients’ mobility and cost of local travel there,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :