General surgical services are expected to resume at Mangochi District Hospital following a donation of anesthesia machine worth K26 million by the Malawi Gaming and Lotteries Authorities-MAGLA.
Dr Victor Kumfunda, District Medical Officer for Mangochi disclosed that the hospital which has four theaters, only has one operational anesthetic machine which is currently being used mainly for obstetric surgical services.
As a result, the hospital has been referring all other patients needing general surgical operations to Zomba Central Hospital following the breakdown of the other machine in January this year.
“From January up to now we have referred over 120 patients in need of general surgical procedures to Zomba Central Hospital and this is costly for the hospital as we have to provide transportation for those referred and it also puts our patients at risk of losing their lives for lack of immediate medical attention.
When we refer patients, we have to provide allowances for the ambulance driver and attending medical personnel. It is also a cost for the patients and guardians to provide for their basic amenities where they are referred to,” said Dr Kamfunda
He has since commended MAGLA for a timely donation that will go a long way in promoting quality health service delivery in the district.
Dr Kamfunda also called on other well-wishers to support the district hospital which was established in 1981 with assistance to address some of its existing challenges including maintenance works.
Meanwhile Board Chairperson for MAGLA Benard Ndau-MAGLA said the donation is in line with the authority’s core mandate to use resources it generates for social services including promoting tourism.
“The anesthesia machine will have long lasting benefits for the people of Mangochi and tourism. This being a tourist destination their is need for provision of better health services for the locals as well as the tourists coming to the district and for that to happen, the hospitals must have all the basic amenities,” said Ndau
Ndau also disclosed that the authority has hired a technician who will be maintaining the anesthesia machine and will also train operating clinicians on its management for sustainability.
Mangochi District Hospital carters to a population of about 1.3 million people apart from tourists and is a main referral hospital for 56 health centers it manages.