Malawi Women’s Hospital to benefit from Internet Café courtesy of Irish Company CRS

CRS Refrigeration will provide the Mua Hospital in Malawi with a fully-functioning internet café

Mua Hospital in Central Malawi will receive a fully functioning internet café courtesy of Irish company CRS Refrigeration. The company has a long-standing relationship with the charity, Mua Hospital Appeal, in association with Dr. Valerie Donnelly, a Mount Carmel Hospital obstetrician.

CRS Refrigeration will ship a container of medical equipment to the hospital, along with a consignment of computer hardware. CRS has configured the container as an internet café and has provided it with eight fully equipped computer stations and a dining area. On arrival, the contents of the container will be transferred to the hospital and the container itself will be placed on a hard base and commissioned as the internet café.

The café will be used by patients at the hospital and the local community who do not otherwise have internet access. The facility is also aimed at tourists visiting the adjacent Kungoni visitor centre, a popular tourist destination. Most importantly, the provision of this service will generate ongoing sustainable funding for the hospital.

A satellite dish was installed in 2011 as a result of fundraising by Dr. Valerie Donnelly. Dr. Donnelly has travelled to Malawi a number of times where she has witnessed, first hand, the needless deaths of women during childbirth. Infant and maternal mortality rates in Malawi are 10% and 1 in 2000, respectively. The comparable maternal mortality rate for Ireland is 1 in 100,000.

Dr. Donnelly commented “This contribution from CRS will make a tremendous difference to the lives of the patients of Mua Hospital, and the community in general. This creative idea, to take a trailer full of medical equipment destined for the hospital and to then transform it into a walk-in facility is a very cost-efficient way of putting valuable donations to good use. The staff at the hospital and the people in the local community are very excited at the prospect.”

Patrick Tyrrell of CRS explained their role in this initiative, and their involvement with the charity: “We’re delighted to be in a position to contribute this much-needed facility to Mua Hospital. The work carried out by CRS on the internet café has also supported local jobs and local suppliers. The Mua Hospital Appeal fundraising committee, comprising Anne Creedon, Dr. Donnelly, Kevin O’Brien, Maura O’Sullivan and Tony Quinlan, has generated enough donations to ensure that the container is also filled with necessary medical supplies. The installation of an internet cafe at the hospital will benefit the charity in various ways, including being a sustainable source of revenue to allow the hospital to buy essential supplies which are not funded by the Government of Malawi.”

He continued, “We’ve worked with Dr. Donnelly for a number of years, and are very aware of the vital work she does with the women at the hospital. We feel very strongly about providing support for Dr. Donnelly’s work in Malawi, she’s making a huge difference to patients who need professional medical support in this region.”

Mua Hospital is situated in the Lakeshore area of Dedza District (Dedza East) in the Central Region of Malawi. The hospital was founded in 1911, and though still underfunded, it has over the years developed into a significant facility. It has a bed capacity of 135. Mua Hospital also provides technical supervision services to all the eight health centres located in the rural area of the Bwanje Valley.

Chair of the Mua Hospital Appeal Tony Quinlan commented, “In 2011 the Mua Hospital Appeal installed a generator to ensure that the frequent power outages suffered by the national network did not cause any further fatalities. The project posed many logistical problems and we would like to thank O’ Connell Mahon Architects, Richard Quirke and Len Lieberum who generously assisted. The Mua Hospital Appeal is actively working on the next phase, the principal aim being to install a much-needed, fully equipped operating theatre, together with a maize mill to generate local revenue.”

Dr. Donnelly concluded with a note of thanks to all supporters: “The committee would like to take the opportunity to thank all its supporters and sponsors, these include hundreds of individuals who contributed, the many women who ran for Mua in the Flora Mini Marathon, Liz Cotter who ran the Barcelona Marathon, Sisk Healthcare, Nicholas Cushnahan, Dr. Jean O’Sullivan, Irish Aid and many others involved in our vital work.”