X-ray working at Livingstonia and Ekwendeni

John Challis with the first x-rays from Livingstonia and Ekwendeni

John Challis with the first x-rays from Livingstonia and Ekwendeni

Recently Keith Feay from Oldham came out to Malawi. He was able to work on the x-ray equipment at both Livingstonia and Ekwendeni. At Livingstonia he was amazed at the Gorodi which the equipment had been transported over! Yet after an hours work on various cables he was able to complete the installation and x-rays were being generated. It took a while longer to sort out the control side. Then a test negative was produced with a local bone from a goat. Fantastic to see this equipment working.

Likewise at Ekwendeni the equipment which had been idle for some-while, due to building work, was soon producing x-rays. It took a day to re-wire the various control cables. In both instances Keith was assisted by John Guyaner of CHAM, their field engineer and the local hospital electrician. After the rewiring the equipment worked and an x-ray of keys was taken.

This was the first visit of Keith to Malawi and he is already thinking about returning to undertake training in repair and maintenance of CHAMS x-ray equipment across the nation. There was much rejoicing at both hospitals at getting the x-rays working. At Livingstonia this is housed in the DOCI (Department of Clinical investigation) that has been funded by the Macnair Medical Institute. Besides X-ray this building now has modern Laboratories, Ultra sound and blood transfusion facilities also a generator shed providing back up power.

A few days after getting the equipment working, two radiographers arrived from Northern Island with Dr Maureen Stevenson. They were thrilled to see the x-ray working when previously it was just a pile of wires in a big box. It was not long before they had the equipment working and doing various tests then the patients arrived. Patients with suspected TB (which they were able to confirm) and a bad head injury etc. At long last they have the equipment fully working. The next stage is to provide automatic developing facilities.

A wonderful achievement by many people and organisations for the people of Malawi. Over the past few years much of the equipment for this unit and the hospitals generally has been sent out by one of the Raven Trust containers.