In May 2020, FDH Bank donated MK3.2 million in medical equipment to the Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) in support of its efforts to fight COVID-19.
Kawawa Msapato, FDH Bank’s Head of Personal and Business Banking, attended a handover at Blantyre DHO, explaining that the bank had made the pledge recognising that medical personnel need support in their efforts to test, track and treat individuals who have contracted COVID-19.
Mr Msapato indicated that the MK3.2 million relief package, which includes personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, will help protect medical staff carrying out their duties. He pointed out that staff in the health sector are deep in the fight against the pandemic, underlining the importance of the government and private sector working together to overcome COVID-19 and stressing that as a corporate player FDH Bank wanted to play its part.
Gift Kawalazira, Director of Health and Social Services for the Blantyre District, commended the bank for its generous donation. He said that by protecting the health of medical personnel, the donation would bolster Blantyre DHO’s efforts to contain COVID-19.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (ICAM) recently described the nation’s health workers as heroes and heroines for their steadfast dedication, selflessness and compassion towards citizens as frontline fighters against COVID-19. The Institute donated MK3.5 million to Blantyre’s Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, joining other stakeholders in contributing resources to the fight COVID-19. As a member of ICAM, as well as the founder of FDH Bank, Dr Thomson Mpinganjira (pictured below) will no doubt welcome the move.
At the presentation, a spokesperson for ICAM explained that the sacrifices of health workers, despite all the risks, was very inspiring. The spokesperson added that as an institution whose members serve the public interest, ICAM felt it their duty to raise funds for the procurement of PPE to protect Malawi’s health professionals. He explained that, since the emergence of the pandemic, medical personnel have put their lives at risk, since they have been exposed to COVID-19 far more than other professionals. Despite the risks, health personnel have continued to serve patients seeking their help, often with little resources at their disposal.
On the 9th May 2020, Jappie Mhango, Malawi’s Minister of Health, announced that five health workers had contracted COVID-19, telling reporters that Malawi’s health workers were putting their lives on the line.
The donation from ICAM includes disposable masks, gloves, hand sanitisers, medical infrared thermometers, and PPE suits and aprons. Dr Francis Chinjoka Gondwe, ICAM’s CEO, explained that the pandemic had affected all sectors of the economy, and ICAM was responding to the Malawian Government’s call for support. He said that the institute was grateful to its members for all of their contributions, adding that ICAM did not take their generosity for granted.
The previous week, Dr Fatsani Zaziwe Gunda, Blantyre’s District Medical Officer, made an appeal to the general public to support and commend health care personnel for their sacrifices in the fight against COVID-19, explaining that health workers brace themselves every day to serve the nation.
To ensure the safety of personnel, the DHO embarked on a mass screening program on the 7th May 2020, testing workers to avoid reinfection. It was then that five out of 82 workers were found to have contracted COVID-19, though fortunately all were found to be in good health.