EGPAF Donates Lifesaving Equipment to Likuni Hospital in Malawi
In October, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) partnered with ViiV Healthcare to donate essential neonatal equipment to Likuni Mission Hospital in Malawi. Likuni Mission Hospital is a Catholic mission hospital located in the densely populated outskirts of Lilongwe, Malawi. It serves nearly 170,000 people and handles between 150 and 200 births per month. Due to high patient volume, the hospital often faces resource and staff shortages. This new equipment will help improve newborn survival for both HIV-infected and uninfected infants.
Sir Andrew Witty, chief executive officer of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), saw the need for the equipment donation when he visited the hospital in June 2013. GSK is one of three pharmaceutical companies that comprise ViiV Healthcare, which operates as an independent organization dedicated delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Sir Andrew’s visit was part of an international commission that traveled to Malawi to discuss a range of strategic challenges for the future of the HIV/AIDS and to catalyze political momentum around HIV/AIDS and health in the post-2015 development agenda.
EGPAF has partnered with Likuni Hospital to improve early infant diagnosis and treatment for the past three years. We organized the visit to Likuni Hospital and I joined Sir Andrew during his hospital tour. We visited the maternity, antenatal, and antiretroviral therapy (ART) departments and spoke with staff in each department. We were impressed by the services the staff could offer despite limited resources. To help motivate employees and patients, the staff displayed results from their HIV programs on the wall for everyone to see. The staff also demonstrated remarkable ingenuity in order to provide for patients even when proper equipment wasn’t available. For example, prior to October, the maternity ward didn’t have a proper infant warmer for newborns, so they improvised and made the best use of locally available equipment and other materials.
Sir Andrew was able to see first-hand both the amazing work being done at Likuni Mission Hospital and the fact that it was in need of much more help. Thanks to Sir Andrew, ViiV, and EGPAF, the hospital now has the equipment it needs to properly care for newborns. The recently donated supplies include an infant incubator, suction machine, and a radiant warmer with an Apgar score timer which is used to assess the health of newborn children immediately after birth.
We were honored to host Sir Andrew this past June as we continue our partnership with ViiV Healthcare. EGPAF has partnered with ViiV Healthcare since 2010 on HIV prevention programs in four countries. In Malawi, ViiV has supported our work at the facility and community level. The Malawi team rarely has a chance to host an actual knight, let alone one who is as committed as we are to saving lives!
You can learn more about EGPAF’s work in Malawi here.
Nicole Buono is EGPAF’s Country Director for Malawi.