The Lazer Machine is an eye testing and treating equipment that reduces extreme risks of diabetic eye complications including blindness.
Handing over the equipment, Baobab Health Trust Executive Director, Martha Kwataine said the equipment follows the need as its absence at the facility was a health burden to the patients as they spent a lot seeking its services in other regions and indeed abroad.
“This is the first time for Mzuzu Central Hospital to have this machine, in fact in government hospitals similar machines are available at Lilongwe Central and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospitals only,” said Kwataine.
Kwataine said the donation means that people will no longer have to travel long distances to be assisted.
“Previously it was very expensive to patients because they could spent a lot of resources whenever they needed services demanding a Lazer Machine,” said Kwataine.
The equipment is part of the diabetic and eye related project the institution is implementing in the country with support from World Diabetes Foundation.
Statistics show that in Malawi 6 percent of people aged between 25 and 64 years suffer from diabetes, however many people remain undiagnosed with only few presenting regularly to the hospital, a development which consequently leads to several complications.
The Ministry of Health says the disease; previously neglected as a disease for the rich has boomed up because of failure by people to observe risk factors including smoking, and excessive beer drinking.
Head of Non-Communicable Diseases and Maternal Health in the Ministry of Health Dr. Jones Kaponda Masiye said Diabetic remains one of the major concerns among the 251 Non-Communicable Diseases.
“The gesture is a plus to the Ministry considering the relationship between diabetes and eye problems, the machine will help responding to such cases better.
“It is however very easy to deal with diabetes if people observe risk factors including smoking, and excessive beer drinking," said Dr. Masiye.
According to Mzuzu Central Hospital Director, Dr. Frank Sinyiza the hospital assists about 2000 patients and the Lazer Machine will help in the management of diabetic eye complications.
According to experts, the machine helps burn the affected eye vessels which sometimes lead to dangerous bleeding of the eye.
Reports say one pays about 400 000 Kwacha to access services of the machine in private hospitals and while the service is free in public hospitals there is high demand forcing others to access treatment abroad.
During the ceremony officials commended Government of Malawi on its positive actions in bringing awareness, managing and controlling diabetes in the country.