H.E. Ambassador Erieka Bennett, the Head of Mission of the Diaspora African Forum (DAF) and Gradian Health Systems partnered this month to support the Government of Malawi’s COVID-19 response efforts by donating 150 airway kits to First Lady Monica Chakwera’s Shaping Our Future Foundation.
Since January, Malawi has seen a sharp spike in the number of COVID-19 cases and a growing burden on its health system. The donated airway kits—which each include approximately 20 critical supplies and were created by Project C.U.R.E.—are currently being used by physicians and nurses to help patients receive life-saving breathing and oxygen support. The kit includes supplies like pulse oximeters, which are critical for monitoring oxygen levels, and oxygen and face masks, for the provision of medical oxygen. In addition, the kit also includes general care items like stethoscopes as well as ventilator circuits and laryngeal mask airways for more advanced critical care needs.
The airway kits were officially received on Feb. 10 by the First Lady of Malawi Monica Chakwera on behalf of the Shaping Our Future Foundation and the Minister of Health’s Honourable Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, MP and are currently being used in hospitals such as Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe.
“We are honored we could partner with the First Lady and the Diaspora African Forum at this critical time in the Government of Malawi’s fight against COVID-19,” said Lina Sayed, CEO of Gradian Health Systems. “We hope infection rates decrease soon as well as hope the government knows we are a long-term partner in the fight against COVID-19 and the journey to build a strong health system.”
In addition to supporting health care providers, the donation also shines a light on the role of consumable and accessory items in the full and safe functioning of medical equipment and the delivery of oxygen therapy. Developing strong and sustainable supply chains is critical for avoiding disruptions to patient care.
“As a non-profit medical technology company that develops, distributes, and sustains world-class medical equipment for health care systems across Africa and Asia, we are acutely aware of how important oxygen is in a range of medical care—in COVID-19 contexts and beyond,” said Sayed. “In addition to oxygen itself, we see first-hand how important accessories and consumables like the ones included in the airway kits are for ensuring physicians and nurses have all the components that go into providing high-quality, safe care.”
For DAF, this partnership is another example of the organization’s mandate of supporting member states of the African Union toward full integration of Africans in the diaspora, while also strengthening engagement among African nations.
“We are honored that the government of Malawi felt they could turn to us when then need arose, and we could respond quickly,” said Amb. Bennett. “The Diaspora African Forum is committed to being a trusted partner that meaningfully connects current needs with Africans in the diaspora who are able to support and drive positive change.”