The Irish branch of CRS Cold Storage is providing a fully functional internet café to the Mua Hospital in Malawi in the unusual form of a shipping container.
The container will be shipped to the hospital full of medical equipment and computer hardware. Once the medical equipment is taken to the hospital, the container will be set onto a solid base and commissioned as an Internet café. CRS has equipped it with eight fully functioning computers as well as a dining area for use by visitors.
The café will be used by hospital patients as well as locals who would not otherwise have access to the Internet. As well as being a tourist attraction for the local Kungoni visitor centre, the service will help the hospital to generate vital revenue to continue supporting the region.
With one of the worlds lowest GDP at just $900 per capita, Malawi often lacks the resources required to dress wounds or treat infections even in its district hospitals, such as Mua Hospital. This contribution will raise funds to help support the 130,000 people within the catchment area of the hospital whilst also supporting local industry.
Back in 2011 a satellite dish was installed thanks to fundraising by Dr. Valerie Donnelly, who has travelled to Malawi several times and witnessed the high rate of mortality of mothers during childbirth – one in two thousand in Malawi, compared with one in one hundred thousand in Ireland.
Dr. Donnelly was delighted with the contribution from CRS, saying
“This 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 container 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 Tyrell, Director of CRS, has said he is “delighted” to have the company be in a position to contribute. “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 0being a sustainable source of revenue to allow the hospital to buy essential medical supplies which are not funded by the Government of Malawi.”
CRS has worked alongside Dr. Donnelly for many years and is proud to be assisting her with the vital work she does with women at the hospital, which makes an enormous difference to patients who need real support in this part of the world. As well as having a bed capacity of 135, Mua Hospital also provides technical support to eight health centres in the surrounding area which makes it of immense importance to the region.
The nature of the shipping containers we use for our refrigerated storage and blast freezer solutions makes them ideal for other applications and we are delighted to see one going to such unusual and helpful use now it has left our service.