Illovo Sugar Malawi has donated a K13.1 million blood bank fridge to health facilities in Malawi’s Lower Shire districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa.
Speaking on Wednesday during a donation ceremony which was held at Montfort hospital in Chikwawa district, Illovo Sugar Malawi Managing Director Lekani Katandula said this is part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility.
Katandula said the company believes that every business is only successful if communities who are the customers, are strong and in good health, hence the donation which he said has cost his company K13.1 million.
He added that Illovo Sugar has made the donation in response to a request from the Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) which claimed that Lower Shire has been registering a surge in deaths due to loss of blood as the area had not even a single blood bank.
“We thought it wise to make this donation because as a business, our purpose is to help create a thriving Malawian community in the provision of affordable food and energy, but we also know that to have our customers, we must look at ways that we have in keeping them health and thriving financially.
“So, one of the critical needs that the society needs from time to time is the availability of blood whenever there is any patient in need of it and at the moment, Lower Shire is served from Blantyre which is quite a distance, so that’s why we have made this donation to save lives,” said Katandula.
Reacting to the development, Chief Executive Officer for Malawi Blood Transfusion Services Natasha Nsamala said the donation is extremely vital saying it will reduce the distance that hospitals officials in the Lower Shire were traveling to collect blood in Blantyre thereby reducing number of deaths due to loss of blood.
Nsamala further said there have been challenges in terms of accessibility as blood is sometimes required in emergency and traveling from the area to Blantyre resulted into loss of lives especially among maternity cases.
The MBTS CEO then urged members of the corporate world to imitate what Illovo has done saying her organization requires some more blood bank fridges to be placed in different hospitals across the country.
Receiving the donation on behalf of Nsanje and Chikwawa Directors of Health and Social Services was Dr Patrick Phiri who thanked Illovo Sugar plc for gesture, describing it as so timely.
Phiri, however, warned health officer in the area to refrain from misusing the blood bank fridge claiming anyone found doing so will be punished.
“We are so hopeful that our staff will dedicate themselves to care for this equipment and we are also hoping that authorities will consider putting some cameras in the room where it will be placed. But let me warn members of staff that anyone found misusing it, will be dealt with accordingly, we don’t want to see water in it, this is a blood bank fridge,” warned Phiri.
According to Phiri, the blood bank fridge will be placed at Ngabu which he said can easily be reached by all hospitals from the two districts and further said it will be connected to a backup power to make it more efficient.