Companies encouraged to support the Malawi Cancer Unit at QECH


The business community in Malawi has been urged to assist in resolving some challenges facing the cancer ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) due to overcrowding as the facility accommodates at least 200 patients every day.

Head of Oncology at the hospital, Dr. Leo Masamba, raised the alarm on Monday when Illovo Sugar Malawi plc handed over essential medical equipment to Cancer Care Unit – Ward 4B at QECH worth 22 million kwacha.

Dr Masamba said QECH, being a hospital that sees the largest number of at least 200 cancer patients in a day, is facing challenges of limited space to accommodate patients, inadequate staff, and shortage of drugs due to the growing number of patients.

Subsequently, the Oncologist suggested that there should be a dedicated cancer building for public patients at the facility and appealed for more support from the corporate world, stating that the institution alone can not manage to make this a reality.

“We have many challenges ranging from a shortage of staff, shortages again in terms of medications because more numbers we receive, and also the space is very limited. So, we would have loved to have a dedicated cancer facility for public patients because the space, clinics, assessment rooms, treatment rooms, and wards are not enough at all. 

“Sometimes, we have over 200 patients coming per day, and this does not include in-patients. This is a facility, probably, that sees the largest number of patients in the country. So I think there’s a need for more support because the hospital by itself gets overwhelmed,” said Masamba. 

He later expressed gratitude to Illovo Sugar Malawi for coming to their rescue, saying the donation would enable the hospital to raise the standard of care and has since asked other businesses to emulate the gesture.

Concurring with Dr Masamba, Illovo Sugar Managing Director, Lekani Katandula, said if the private sector and other individuals of goodwill can extend a helping hand to the Oncology Department in particular and the hospital in general, they can make a huge difference in the lives of those who are suffering.

Katandula indicated the donation is part of the company’s commitment to supporting the healthcare sector in Malawi. He hopes the equipment will enable the department to continue offering free essential cancer care services to Malawians who were being forced to incur exorbitant costs at local private clinics and abroad. 

“I am told that this equipment is vital in the diagnosis and effective treatment of cancer patients at the hospital which caters to the whole Southern Region and is expected to service up to 400 samples per week. We further note that this donation will also bring a beacon of hope to those battling cancer,” said Katandula. 

The donation, which is worth MK22 Million includes; a chemistry analyzer SL300, an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) machine 2200VA, a full blood count machine, a microscope, and an Electrocardiogram (ECG) machine.


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