By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza and Chisomo Phiri
Children involved in various degrees of accidents will now be admitted and treated in a new unit at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital(QECH) in Blantyre following the construction of a 1 billion Kwacha Chidren’s and Emergency Centre Anadkat Centre by Anadkat family.
Speaking in an interview after the official opening of the centre
,Meeta Anadkat, said her family decided to construct the centre after noting an urgent need of children’s accidents and emergency ward at the hospital.
“It was very traumatic to see how children were suffering in the absence of the unit. Many children were dying due to lack of proper support, hence, our support,” she said
Meeta added that the refurbishing of some sections of the hospital fell under the mantra belief of the Hindu community of supporting the underprivileged.
“Supporting charities is at the heart of our family. We believe in malawi and philanthropy,” she added
In a separate interview, the director of the hospital, Kelvin Mponda said inadequate facilities for the children care were among the major challenges the referral hospital faced.
He said the hospital used to record high levels of deaths amongst the children due to poor service delivery.
“Therefore, this facility will go along the way to save lives and reduce the deaths of children,” said Mponda
According to him, 50 percent of children die within the first 24 hours of admission due to poor care and support.
” Actually, we need a vibrant unit and specialists in a bid to reduce the deaths. At this hospital, child mortality rate is at 33 percent of that we administer 24,000 children a year,” he said.
In her remarks, Kandodo Chiponda who was the guest of honour, commended the Anadkat Family for sacrificing their personal funds to help give the health facility a new face and thereby putting a smile on Malawian children and the staff working at the institution.
The minister further said the Children’s Accident and Emergency Anadkat Centre is set to provide special life-saving treatment to children and reduce congestion at the main Accident and Emergency Unit at the referral facility, thereby reducing paediatric deaths at the institution and Malawi at large.
“The fact of the matter is that the majority of avoidable paediatric deaths occur in the first 24 hours of their reporting to the hospital and this is due to inadequate resuscitation or triage as the patients come in.
“The rehabilitation of this Children’s Accident and Emergency Unit has provided facilities to improve triage and resuscitation, which is an important ingredient for the hospital to manage very sick patients earlier and adequately and so reduce paediatric deaths. The procedure room will allow management of various forms of trauma and injuries so that avoidable suffering, disabilities and deaths are prevented,” said Chiponda.
While reiterating government’s commitment to improving emergency services in the country, Chiponda said her Ministry and various health experts were last week during the National Trauma Consultative Forum, brainstorming on how trauma can be prevented and how, in the event of trauma events, lives can be saved in Malawi.
The facility whose walls are beautifully clad with hand painted murals, comprises several modern treatment areas that include a triage area, where children are assessed upon arrival and depending on the nature of the case, treatment is provided in one of the many private rooms.
Adjacent to the seating area, is a newly built and functioning high dependency unit (HDU), which is a breath of fresh air to both, patients and clinical staff alike.
Alongside that, there is children’s mortuary, one of its kind, which was built and designed with careful detail and thought, such as the memorable wall mural that provides a semblance of much needed calm during the loss of a child.
This is not the first project in the emergency medical services that the Anadkat family has supported at QECH as they are also on record to have assisted the refurbishment of the adults’ Accidents and Emergency and Trauma Centre and they also built the doctors’ hostel at Kamuzu University of Health Science (KUHeS).
Apart from that, the Anadkat family has also previously paid school fees for more than 500 needy students in tertiary, provided K200 million support for cyclone Freddy survivors, as well as the construction of 472 bed prison block just to mention a few.