In joining the fight against Coronavirus, NICO Group of companies on Monday donated 20 hospital beds, 20 mattresses, 20 oxygen units and 20 bedside trolleys worth K22 million to boost the services that is being provided at Kameza COVID-19 isolation centre in Blantyre.
Eight of the beds are intensive care unit (ICU) hydraulic adjustable to cater for very serious cases.
So far, Blantyre registered 16 cases, of which one died, five recovered and the other 10 are under surveillance together with their contacts, as according to Director of Social Services at Blantyre District Health Office (DHO), Dr. Gift Kawalazira.
On Saturday, the Ministry of Health announced that the country registered 13 new positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the nationwide total figure at 56 within 40 days since the first registered case on April 2.
NICO Group’s Managing Director Vizenge Kumwenda said they decided to come forward in recognition and acknowledgement of the efforts that the Government is making towards monitoring and controlling the situation, saying figures of this affected could have been much higher in the absence of the measures that have been put in place.
“While these figures may be nowhere close to some of the hardest hit countries, they are still cause for concern,” Kumwenda said.
“As a concerned and responsive corporate citizen, NICO Group felt it necessary to step in and support the Government in implementing the national COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan.”
He explained that the Private Sector Response Initiative, in consultation with the DHO, identified Kameza COVID-19 isolation centre as a critical initiative in curbing the spread of the virus.
“Through the DHO, the needs of the centre were tabled and corporate organizations came together to identify areas which they would support.
“We learnt through this engagement that there was need to improve the functionality of the centre by supplying clinical equipment to increase the capacity in terms of bed space and requirements per bed such as oxygen cylinders, drip stands and trolleys.”
He also appraised the media that as a Group, they are also running an awareness campaign to promote prescribed prevention measures as outlined by Government, that include the safety of the customers and staff, most of whom are encouraged to work from home.
“Customers are encouraged to access our services through digital platforms or to contact us through our call centre numbers: 323 for NICO companies and Eric Properties and 322 for NBS Bank.”
He also applauded the media for promoting awareness of the virus to the masses and to all health workers who are on the frontline in fight this pandemic that has made an unprecedented impact on the global community.
Kumwenda and his high profile entourage were taken on a tour of the isolation centre, now located on the Kameza campus of Kamuzu College of Nursing where the beds were being installed in various wards that have been set up.
The centre will be equipped with wards for serious patients, to be moved to another once showing signs of recovery.
It also has a maternity ward and will be soon be installed with theatre facilities.
After the tour, Kumwenda said he was proud of the work that is being done and felt their donation was well worth it to complement the efforts being done.
“This is one event that I truly wish we did not have to do, not because of any reluctance on my part as a representative of the NICO Group to make this donation, but because this gathering brings to light the current dire circumstances that Malawi, and the global community is facing,” he said.
In his vote of thanks, Kawalazira applauded NICO for the donation, saying the partnership is going deeper since on April 24, NICO Groups subsidiary, NBS Bank also donated various personal protective equipment (PPEs) for Blantyre DHO health workers that included examination gloves, face masks and protective suits.
He said at the moment the DHO is conducting contact tracing on people who might have been in touch of the confirmed cases of the virus.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :