Standard Bank says is releasing an additional K112 million to go towards emergency medical equipment and supplies to help mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malawi’s major hospitals.
The new allocation brings Standard Bank’s financial commitment towards the pandemic to K214 Million with an initial K102 Million spent in 2020 during first outbreak of the virus.
This follows a plea by President Lazarus Chakwera when he declared the State of National Disaster a week ago.
“The immediate release of the additional K112 Million is our swift response to the current COVID-19 emergency.
“The funds will specifically go towards purchase of vital supplies, and the replenishing of medical supplies critically running low in the hardest hit facilities in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba and Mzuzu,” said the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Philip Madinga.
He said the donation will go to Queen Elizabeth Central, Kamuzu Central, Mzuzu Central and Zomba General hospital.
Each will receive refills of oxygen, PPEs for frontline health workers and care givers, and patient monitors.
“This response is a continuation of our commitment to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic which poses the biggest healthcare challenge ever. Lives of our loved ones, including some of the most productive of our society are in danger as infection rates escalate.
“As a bank, we remain steadfast in standing with the rest of the nation to alleviate the suffering of those who fall sick and help protect frontline health workers and the general public from exposure to this highly contagious and virulent new variant of Covid-19,” said the CE.
A total of K104 million will facilitate 200 oxygen refills each for the Queen Elizabeth and Kamuzu Central Hospitals while Mzuzu and Zomba Central hospitals will have 160 refills each, PPEs and patient monitors.
Each of the four hospitals will receive 1,500 N95 face masks, 750 gowns, 1,500 face shields, 20 boxes of 2,000 gloves and four patient monitors.
Standard Bank is also donating K 8 million towards the “Covid-19 Private Citizens” Fund-Raising initiative championed by social media activist Stanley Kenani, a Malawian currently based in France.
Reacting to the development, Dr. Yamikani Masitala who is chairperson of Covid-19 Task Force at Zomba Central Hospital commended Standard Bank for the timely gesture.
“The oxygen refills will go a long way in easing our work of taking care of critically-ill patients while the personal protective equipment will protect our valuable health personnel, a good number of whom have either been infected by the virus or are in self-isolation,” said Masitala.
Dr Masitala explained that any patient in a critical condition requires at least three oxygen cylinders for breathing in 24 hours.