This blog article has been written by Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow Member Dr Antonia Ho.
After a mild first wave of COVID-19, Malawi has been hit by a dramatic second wave that has inundated its health facilities. Medical staff are struggling to care for the large volume of COVID-19 patients. An urgent appeal is underway by the Scotland-Malawi Partnership to provide urgent medical equipment to the southern African country.
Oxygen is one of the most basic but crucial treatment for patients with severe COVID-19, but there is a critical shortage of oxygen to treat patients. In fact, only three hospitals in the country have an oxygen plant. Oxygen dispensing and monitoring equipment are also desperately needed to aid the country’s healthcare service in its fight to contain the pandemic. The Scotland Malawi Partnership has therefore established an urgent time-limited appeal through which people can donate to support oxygen supply to those critically ill in hospital.
This appeal was set up in response to our recent meeting with the Malawi All Party Parliamentary and Scottish Government Cross Party Groups, where the shortage in oxygen was highlighted by the Malawian Minister of Health. Scotland’s ties with Malawi are close, as demonstrated by the 250 organisations that were represented at the virtual meeting on 25 January 2021.
I am a member of the The Scotland Malawi Oxygen Supply Coordination Group, which is led by Mr Alberto Gregori, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at NHS Lanarkshire. We are liaising closely with Malawi partners on how best to augment their oxygen supply. At present, the Coordination group has prioritised the repair of existing oxygen concentrators and the urgent supply of high-quality oxygen saturation monitors.
The appeal closes on Sunday 28 February and your assistance would be greatly appreciated.