Malawi is a small landlocked country in Africa with 18m people. It is one of the poorest in the world and known as ‘the Warm Heart of Africa’.
Chifundo UK (2015) and Chanasa Malawi (2014) are two small sister charities whose aim is to empower girls and women in Malawi through funding their education and income generation. Chanasa Women’s Enterprise involves 42 unemployed women and a part time coordinator. In addition to making Chanasa Sustainable Products and providing Menstrual Health Training and Lotus Packs for needy school girls, they are now making masks and gowns for those who care for people with COVID-19. This letter of appeal comes from the six Chifundo Trustees.
Malawi is one of the most vulnerable of African countries, where the first confirmed cases have been reported and desperate preparations are now underway. The impact of COVID-19 on the people of Malawi could be devastating.
Malawi has 350 clinical doctors to treat a population of 18 million people and even the largest hospitals are woefully lacking the basic equipment needed to treat the most serious cases.
The focus of this appeal is for the poorest and most vulnerable who are likely to include those who are malnourished and who have underlying conditions.
Blantyre District Health Service has drawn up a list of what they need to care for patients at Kameza Hospital, Limbe, Blantyre, which has an isolation unit needing to be expanded from 10-50 beds.
PPE Kits, (gowns, aprons, gloves, boots, goggles, masks and face shields) Respirators and masks N95, FFP2 or equivalent standard Hand sanitizers Hospital beds Ventilators Tents Equipment for aerosol –generating procedures
Some international help has been forthcoming but distribution of it can be problematic and take a long time to reach those in most need. Gift of the Givers Foundation in Malawi is a major relief organisation and NGO with a professional team of staff. They have launched a Corona Virus Appeal to support the Health Service. They focus on the poor and most vulnerable people including those that were affected by Cyclone Idai in 2019 and who are unable to recover from the disaster. Chifundo UK and Chanasa Malawi have worked with this organisation and are confident that they are able to ensure that any money raised is used effectively and properly.
If you can help and make a donation, it will go to provide vital equipment as you can see, and a report of how it is used will be provided. Money will be sent to the Gift of the Givers Foundation GBP account with priorities for spending the funding to be decided jointly by GOTG and the District Health Authority. It is better to send money for the Appeal as one sum because there is a bank charge on each transaction. Send a cheque payable to Chifundo UK to Lynn Walton, 47 Wren Walk, Eynesbury, St Neots, PE19 2GE.
Please remember that although we don’t have all that we need in this country to combat COVID-19, there is so much less in a poor country like Malawi.