MMF Trustee and SOKO Fund Chair, Brian Kerr writes:
‘I want to draw people’s attention to a remarkably successful, locally informed, relatively low cost project, designed to respond to a current health crisis- but with unexpected long term benefit!
No, I haven’t lost the plot! When I read about it, amidst all the current glooms, too numerous to list, I just felt a bit heartened, even cheered. See what you think!
The initiative came from the Scotland – Malawi partnership. That partnership has created a regular and very worthwhile conduit for up to the minute information about the development, impact and consequences of the Covid pandemic in Malawi. Amongst many pressing issues, it became clear that there was a major shortage of working ventilators in Malawi and that this might be something that an appeal in Scotland might address.
Over £40,000 was raised in relatively short time. How it was spent, and the results, are summarized in a news story on the SMP website
In brief, the original plan was to buy and ship new ventilators. In the event, a much better solution was to identify existing ventilators, in Malawi, and find ways (using local expertise) to repair them and bring them back into use. This had the effect of not only increasing availability for Covid patients in crisis, but in the longer term ensure/improve availability for patients with other conditions. All at relatively low cost-and donors can see exactly the practical benefit of their donations.
Here’s a quote from David Hope Jones, CEO of the Scotland -Malawi partnership which for me sums it up ..
“I think it’s a really inspiring example of partnership working in action and all credit must go to the leaders and volunteer engineers on the ground ..
As Malawi’s third wave of Covid drops away it seems, sadly, almost inevitable that there will be further waves to come, with vaccination levels still worryingly low. …(The project).. will continue to work hard in the months and years to come, as further oxygen concentrators are fixed and then better maintained, oxygen saturation monitors allow better treatment decisions, and new oxygen piping allows better treatment outcomes. All of this will help with further covid outbreaks but, more than this, will also help Malawi treat a whole range of different conditions.”
The whole story is well worth a read. It certainly cheered and motivated me. I hope it does you too! It is also another reason for MMF to be pleased to be associated with the Scotland – Malawi partnership.’