Written by YAMIKANI SIMUTOWE
BLANTYRE--The recent devaluation of the local currency and its continued depreciation has hit Malawi businesses hard.
Beit Cure International Hospital hasn’t been spared. It says the continued depreciation of the kwacha has forced the hospital to raise its rates.
This time last year, Malawi kwacha 164 was equivalent to one US dollar but this time around it’s K320 to the dollar. What this means for patients is that they have to dig deep into their pockets to access medical treatment from private hospitals.
Beit Cure says medical accessories and consumables necessitated “the significant rise of rates at the hospital.
“This however has led to a reduction in number of clients thereby negatively affecting our charity bones related-treatment to children, who benefit from the profits the institution make,” observes Beit Cure Executive Director Stuart Palmer.
Palmer states that the institution is now looking for funds from well wishers to enable it sustain the impending operation of over 30 children.
“Over 30 children need medical attention and we do not have enough funds to ably assist them. Apparently our charges are scaring away prospects clients but we are just hoping that things we will get back to normal very soon,” explains Palmer.
He further said their mission is to help all children with physical disabilities throughout Malawi.
“On top of the work with children, we also provide a full range of specialist services to paying adults which help fund the children’s operations,” he added.
Opened in 2002, Beit Cure is a 72-bed teaching hospital that specializes in treating the orthopedic needs of both adults and children and sees about 8,000 patients and performs about 1,500 surgeries annually, according to Palmer.
“We have special expertise in total hip and knee replacement surgery, one of the very few places where this surgery is available in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“We treat a wide range of orthopedic conditions experienced by the children of Malawi including clubfoot, burn contractures, osteomyelitis and other acquired congenital conditions,” he explained.
The hospital also provides physiotherapy and rehabilitation services as well as an outpatient pain clinic.
(c) The Maravi Post 2012. Reproduction without acknowledgement prohibited