St Joseph’s Hospital in Limbe, Malawi has excellent contacts with all the health units in the area (Blantyre region). This large hospital acts as a “host” for Inter Care’s shipping containers. This means they distribute the contents to several partner health units in their area on behlaf of the charity.
On our visit to Malawi in 2019, we meet Sr Mercy, the Sister in Charge of St Joseph’s Hospital. She tell us about the barriers that the hospital is facing.
What can you tell us about the problems people have to access healthcare?
People travel a lot of distance to be treated. Some hospitals don’t have the necessary resources to treat patients sufficiently. A user fee is charged here to help run the hospital’s costs of medicines and water but many patients can’t afford it. So we have to give treatment for free when they need to be seen urgently.
Why are Inter Care’s donated medicines so important for St Joseph’s Hospital?
It is vital support for people who cannot afford to pay. Donated medicines can be prescribed to ensure as many patients that require treatment can receive it. It also means the hospital does not lose out financially.
What motivates you to carry on working through the everyday barriers?
I am happy when health workers are satisfied with their work and have the resources they need to treat patients. When we see a patient going home fully recovered after coming to us very poorly, I feel very happy.
Sr Mercy also says “We feel useless when a patient gets worse, and find it depressing because we could easily treat them if medicines were available”
How Inter Care helps us…
Sister Mercy remembers an occasion when a patient was suffering with Meningitis. “It is a very expensive treatment as many antibiotics are needed. St Joseph’s Hospital fortunately received a donation from Inter Care. This included antibiotics, which helped to make sure all the medicines needed were available to treat the patient”.