More donated equipment sent

It’s mid February 2023, and so far this year we’ve sent off 30 boxes of donated equipment to the hospitals and clinics in northern Malawi. Contents include new lenses and frames, glasses cases, lens hand-edgers, focimeters, surgical equipment, optical equipment spares, and vision test charts. The parcels go from Colchester by courier to our friends at The Bananabox Trust in Dundee, where they’re packed by volunteers into a 40′ container, for onward shipping to Malawi. Depending on container despatch dates, the end-to-end journey time is around three to six months.

Since meeting many representatives of other hospitals in northern Malawi at the October conference (see recent posts), we have become more widely aware of how great the need is for the most basic clinical equipment in the area. So we are pleased to help supply what’s needed, wherever we can.

Thanks to everyone who has donated the items or supplied the funds to make these parcels possible. While we continue to send equipment to help get health services started, we are always looking – together with our friends in Malawi – for ways in which future services can be less dependent on supplies from the UK.

“Love Your Eyes” in Mzuzu city centre

To promote further World Sight Day (see previous post) and the importance of “loving your eyes” on 13 October, the mission hospitals staff provided free eye-testing for the public in Mzuzu’s city centre. The demand was heavy and some of the government hospital clinicians attending the conference joined in to help. But there were so many people still waiting to be seen at the end of the day that the team returned to test all the following day. 442 people were seen in all.

Eye conference in Mzuzu

The World Sight Day Conference on 13 October 2022 (see previous post) was a great success. Clinicians and key people from every health district and hospital in the north of Malawi attended and some gave presentations about their own eye-clinic services, including successes and challenges.

Staff from DGMH prepared the venue and ensured delegates were looked after well. They were joined by eye colleagues from Embangweni and Ekwendeni to do eye tests for the public (see following post).

Around 80 clinicians from the north of Malawi attended the conference, many having never met each other before. There was a palpable atmosphere of co-operation and perhaps we should not be surprised as this was being hosted by our brothers and sisters who work to see God’s kingdom of peace and justice to come on earth. So we’ve been very happy to sponsor this event, knowing that it represents an important step towards a more coherent approach to eye health care in Malawi.

There were good contributions from delegates and a very useful Q&A session . There are plans for more collaborative working between the hospitals, and a first step was to organise a WhatsApp group, including all the delegates, to get communication going.