By Tione Andsen
Lilongwe, February 7, Mana: Global Fund has been commended for continued support proving to the health sector in the fight against COVID-19 in the country.
Minister of Health, Khumbize Chiponda made the commendation Monday during the handover ceremony of 23 ambulances and medicines to government and Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) health facilities het at the Ministry of health headquarters in Lilongwe.
She said the support has helped to reduce the transportation problem most health facilities in the country were facing in handling COVID-19 cases.
Chiponda said Global Fund had provided a grant in 2020 to support Tuberculosis (TB) Malaria and HIV programmes as part of mitigating measures to the threats of COVID-19 in the country.
The Minister said for the grant which was provided, they managed to procure 56 ambulances and 64 motorcycles which were delivered last.
She said Global Fund has delivered the remaining 20 ambulances with three additional ambulances to be delivered in Mulanje, Chikwawa and Nsanje as part of reinforcing process to mitigate the effects of Cyclone Ana.
Chiponda said was delighted to note that all the ambulance are fully equipped to transport COVID-19 patients to health facilities unlike what was happened in the past where patients were just been transported with any tangible support.
“We have fully equipped ambulance that will be able to improve the management of COVID- 19 cases in transit to the health facilities. This has given us as hope owing to that fact that previously case management of COVID-19 patients was a challenge to most health facilities,” the Minister explained.
She disclosed that GAVI has provided eight PCR machines wort US$ 237,000 to be used in for central hospitals and four border district hospitals of Karonga, Mchinji, Mulanje and Mwanza.
Chiponda said PCR machines would help improve the testing services of the health facilities main laboratories in conducting tests which include COVID-19 cases.
The Minister appealed to Directors of Health and Social Services (DHSS) to make good use of the ambulances within their facilities.
We don’t want to see pictures on ambulance being used to transfer staff on the social media. You have the responsibility of making sure that you are taking good care of all your equipment within your health facilities,” she added.
CHAM Executive Director, Happy Makala said CHAM has a total 187 health facilities through the country.
He said they are delivering health services to hard reach areas and promised to continue complementing government efforts to servicing the people.