The Cancer High Dependency Unit (HDU) at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital is set to start screening for coronavirus patients who seek medical attention there in a bid to reduce the risk of transmission should one of them be infected with the virus.
The unit’s administrator, Peter Kafwamba, said in an interview Tuesday that the process is set to start soon following the support from FDH Bank which has been working with the unit for three years now.
He said the screening, which will focus on Covid-19 symptoms, will allow healthcare personnel to determine how to handle those who seek services at the cancer unit. “We have to reduce the risk of infection using every means necessary and this is also possible because the ward was repainted by our partner FDH Bank so that it is clean,” Kafwamba said.
He also hailed the support the HDU gets from the bank, saying it has eased challenges associated with caring for critically ill patients. “For instance, they procured modern beds, a patient monitor, oxygen ventilators, beddings and are paying nurses [K300,000 a month] to ensure patients are properly cared for at all times,” Kafwamba said.
FDH Bank Managing Director, Ellias Ngalande, said they understand the needs of Malawians and take interest in supporting initiatives in health and education.
Ngalande further said, among others, the bank has also donated K25 million to the Ministerial Covid-19 Committee and K7 million to the private sector coalition for the procurement of the contagion’s test kits.
“In 2017, we went into this partnership [with the cancer unit] with an initial investment of K17 million that we used to refurbish the ward and equip it to ensure continued service of critical equipment,” he said.
Ngalande added: “We have also provided materials to facilitate sterilisation of the ward and cater for a nurse that will be at the ward full time to ensure hygiene, safety measures and facilitate Covid-19 symptoms pre-detection for anyone entering the ward.”
The pandemic, which has significantly unsettled the whole world, has infected over 2.5 million people out of whom over 172,000 have died while 660,000 have recovered.
Alick Ponje is a features writer at The Times Group. He graduated from the University of Malawi with a bachelor’s degree in education, majoring in literature in English. Follow him on Twitter @aponje