Kamuzu Academy Alumni managed to raise the targeted K20 million to procure personal protective equipment (PPEs) for frontline health workers in Malawi in the fight against Coronavirus and one of the donors is from Scotland, who contributed K5 million (£5,000) as a tribute to Malawian nurse Elsie Sazuze, who lost her life to the COVID-19 helping people in the UK.
This was disclosed on Saturday when the alumni presented the PPEs to the country’s three referral hospitals — Queen Elizabeth in Blantyre, Kamuzu Central in Lilongwe and Mzuzu Central.
Representing the alumni, Hilda Singo paid tribute to all healthcare workers across the world who lost their lives to COVID-19 while helping others and amongst them are Malawians who died in the line of duty in other countries, — Elsie Sazuze, Dr. Austin Gunda and Grant Maganga.
“One of our donors in Scotland who chose to be anonymous donated £5000 as ‘a gift to Malawians in tribute to Elsie Sazuze’,” she said.
“It is their loss that alerted us to the dangers that healthcare workers face on a daily basis and therefore prompted our campaign. May their souls rest in eternal peace.”
Sazuze fell ill at home in Birmingham before being taken to Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield where she died.
Her husband Ken, who is training to be a nurse, told the BBC that Elsie understood the risks of working on the front line but was happy to help people.
In her speech, Singo said as former students of Kamuzu Academy, they recognize the immense privilege of the founder’s vision in providing less privileged youths with top notch education.
“We have always been aware of our responsibility to give back to our society and while we believe we do this through our daily work, there are times when events happen that call upon all of us to rally to a national cause.
“The current pandemic is a case in point. As a developing nation in the bottom 5 of poorest countries in the world, our healthcare system is ill-prepared to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
She took cognizance that healthcare workers face heightened risk of infection by virtue of constant exposure during examination of infected patients, which requires close contact.
“The unfavourable doctor to patient ratio of 30,000 mandates us to prioritise healthcare workers so they can continue to save lives.
“The task is huge and ultimately requires large scale institutional intervention. Like other small scale donors, our focus was to raise awareness of the problem, by setting a modest target of K20m.”
She added that although the items have been donated in the name of Kamuzu Academy alumni, special acknowledgement and heartfelt appreciation be extended to every donor to the fundraiser in Malawi and abroad, particularly those that have no links to Kamuzu Academy.
“They include individuals as well as institutions, with donations both in cash and in kind. They did so not because they believed in Kamuzu Academy alumni ideals but because they empathised with the people of Malawi.
“We thank them all for allowing us to act as conduits for their generosity, contributing to a total fund of K20.27 million,” she said.
Guided by data on infection rates, the fundraising committee identified what appeared to be an infection corridor running through the country from North to South, with specific hospitals showing infection clusters.
And thus they have extended the help to Queen Elizabeth, Kamuzu and Mzuzu Central Hospitals distributing in total 400 gowns, 400 aprons, 1000 N95 masks, 5,000 3-ply surgical masks, 50,000 pairs of gloves, and 108 bottles of sanitisers, split equally amongst the three sites.
“This donation is a small piece of the cake that is required to meet the national need for PPEs. The biggest help we can all give to the cause is to follow guidelines on avoiding infection.
“This will reduce our risk of passing the infection on to our cherished healthcare workers,” Singo said in conclusion.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :