Minister of Health and Population, Atupele Muluzi has said government will soon develop medical equipment maintenance plan to ensure that the equipment is always up-to date and lasts long, thereby addressing some of the challenges which the country’s hospitals face in health service delivery.
Muluzi made the remarks on Wednesday at Mzuzu Central Hospital when he officially received a donation of medical equipment which is part of a 2016, US$ 500 000 (about K363.5 million) grant agreement between the Government of India and Malawi.
Receiving the donation which comprises high-tech sterilization and disinfection, anesthesia and critical care, radiology sterilization and disinfection equipment and medical furniture, Atupele pledged government commitment to take care of the equipment for it to last long.
“Life span for medical equipment is 10 years and this hospital was opened in 2000, meaning that the facility has for some time been using outdated equipment, therefore, this donation made to Mzuzu Central Hospital is a timely one,” said Muluzi.
He then called on the medical personnel at the hospital to ensure that they do more with what they have and maximize the use of the equipment for improved health service delivery.
“To ensure that medical equipment lasts long, government through the Ministry of Health has plans to develop a medical equipment maintenance plan with support from Health Serves Joint Fund and the country’s development partners.
“Maintenance of equipment is more cost effective than replacing it, so we will embark on trainings in management and maintenance of medical equipment so that the equipment should be serviced locally,” he said.
Muluzi then thanked the Government of India for the donation which he said would go a long way in serving lives of people in the northern region and the country as whole.
He said the provision of the equipment to the referral hospital will improve service delivery, thereby reducing the number of referral cases to other hospitals.
“This also means that there will be reduction in costs attached to referral services,” he said.
In his remarks, Indian High Commissioner to Malawi, Suresh Kumar Menon said his government was committed towards supporting maintenance of the newly donated items.
“We are ready to support maintenance skill transfer from the supplier and manufacturers of the equipment to Malawian technicians,” said Menon, adding that the equipment is durable with a 10-year life span.
Menon then disclosed that his government would extend its supports to the education sector in addition to the health, energy and mining sectors.
Earlier, Mzuzu Central Hospital Director, Dr. Frank Sinyiza said the donation would reduce maintenance costs which the institution was incurring on the outdated equipment and that it will serve as a motivation factor to the medical personnel.
“Motivation is not only defined in terms of salaries or incentives, but also the availability of necessary equipment matters a lot as it contributes to a viable working environment for the workers,” said Sinyiza.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :