In Mwandi, a quiet village in Zambia’s Western Province, access to surgery has always been a challenge. Its single hospital – Mwandi Mission Hospital – serves more than 30,000 people, but has had to refer patients to nearby hospitals for major surgical operations – the closest of which is several hours away by car.
That reality changed when the Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ) procured a UAM for Mwandi. Once the machine was installed and the hospital’s staff trained, they began to see marked improvements in their surgical care: they expanded the types of operations they could perform, nearly tripled their monthly case load and completed surgeries that would have otherwise been cut short due to electricity outages, which happen daily.
“The UAM has been a major help for us,” said Isaac Tembo, a clinical officer at Mwandi. “It is reliable, easy to use, great for monitoring patients and dependable when the power fails.”
But the UAM’s impact on oxygen availability was just as significant. Since the UAM produces its own concentrated oxygen to deliver anesthesia, its users don’t have to purchase portable oxygen cylinders. For Mwandi, this meant major cost and logistical savings on having to buy and transport the cylinders. Instead, they can rely on the UAM’s oxygen and keep a single cylinder as a backup source.
“We used to have to replace our cylinder every six weeks,” Tembo continued. “But with the UAM, we’ve gone six months without needing a new one!”
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