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 connect current needs with Africans in the diaspora who are able to support and drive positive change.”
Diaspora African Forum (diasporaafricanforum.org)
The Diaspora African Forum (DAF) is an African Union (AU) endorsed non-profit organization opened on July 7, 2001 by H.E. President J.A.Kufuor. DAF is the only African Diaspora organization in the world with diplomatic status enabling DAF to accomplish groundbreaking work in diaspora advocacy at the highest levels of government in Ghana and Africa, in general. DAF’s mandate is to support the AU and Member States towards the integration of Africans in the diaspora while strengthening African diaspora engagement in Ghana and continent wide. DAF plans to continue its efforts as a change agent towards the development of solid policies for the reintegration of the diaspora Africa worldwide.
Gradian Health Systems (gradianhealth.org)
Gradian Health Systems is a nonprofit medical technology company that works to transform the impact of medical equipment in resource-constrained hospitals around the world. With a business model that blends sales and grant revenue to sustain our mission, we distribute world-class medical devices and provide local, hands-on training and customer support to minimize downtime and maximize impact. Gradian works in partnership with governments, distributors, universities, hospitals, and NGOs to build capacity in anesthesia, critical care, and biomedical engineering alongside the introduction of its products. Gradian’s products, including the Universal Anaesthesia Machine and the Gradian CCV (Comprehensive Care Ventilator), are in 700+ health facilities worldwide.
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