Swansea University has donated more than 600 assorted student nurse uniforms to disadvantaged organisations in sub-Saharan Africa, helping healthcare workers stay safe from contracting transmissible diseases as they provide medical aid for vulnerable patients.
The Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science arranged the donation through Inter Care, whose mission is to save lives and alleviate suffering by providing surplus medical resources to rural partner health units in the region.
In total, 13 boxes, consisting of 350 tunics and 290 pairs of trousers, have been donated by the University and included as part of a 20ft container of medical supplies Inter Care has transported to Northern Malawi.
The lead health unit for the container is Ekwendeni CCAP Mission Hospital, which will distribute the medical aid amongst four other participating hospitals; Atupele Community Hospital, Kaseye Community Hospital, Mzambazi Community Hospital and St Anne’s Community Hospital (Chilumba).
By avoiding the traditional disposal route of incineration, the donation has redirected the equivalent of 9,300 kg of CO2 from the landfill.
Environment Officer Victoria Lewis, who organised the donation, said: “Working with Inter Care has allowed us not only to help reduce UK medical waste, contributing to the University’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, but also have the opportunity to support healthcare individuals in sub-Saharan Africa, those who work tirelessly to make a difference in the communities they serve, despite a lack of resources.”
Diane Hardy, Inter Care General Manager, said: “We hugely appreciate the support given by organisations in the form of donations of scrub uniforms to Inter Care; this enables us to supply departments within health centres and hospitals we support in sub-Saharan Africa with a uniform each.
“Can you imagine going to work in a hospital without a uniform? The patients would not know that you are part of a medical team. They’re an essential part of the service for medical staff, not to mention for their own protection and controlling infection.
“Thank you, Swansea University - your donation is on its way to five different hospitals in Malawi to assist the healthcare professionals there in their day-to-day work.”
On plans for future donations, Victoria said: “We’re proud to be working with Inter Care to organise a second donation, due to be sent to Sierra Leone in the summer, which will include more clean and reusable items in need, such as lab coats.”
For more information on how you can donate surplus medical supplies, please email Victoria Lewis.