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US retired professor donates K15 million X-ray equipment to Likoma hospital

Written by  Elias Mkandawire

A retired American researcher Thomas Hangartner has donated a K15 million (US$ 20,000) X-ray equipment to St Peters mission hospital of Likoma Islands, which is run by the Anglican Church.

Hangartner: The X-ray machine is digital. Hangartner: The X-ray machine is digital.

“The machine is digital and capable of facilitating diagnosis of fractures of broken bones after  injuries and tuberculosis in the chest,” Emeritus professor Hangartner, who led the overseas  fundraising venture to purchase the equipment, told MBC Online.


Hangartner said after hospital officials requested him to acquire the X-ray machine, he  partnered with engineering students of American universities of Wright State and Dayton, with  additional support coming from the Swiss Benevolent Association and donors from the USA.


He said the equipment will help up to 95 percent of the islanders, who in the past covered 71 kilometres seeking X-ray services in Nkhata Bay district.


The old machine at the hospital broke down in 2014 and was beyond repair.


Hangartner, who installs X-ray machines, hoped the new machine was going to last many years  since other machines installed in other hospitals were still working.


The dean of St Peter's Cathedral, Peterson Binga, said the machine will help reduce expenses incurred by patients who were referred to mainland Nkhata bay district for treatment.


"Patients were failing to travel to the next level due to their inability to find resources. As for  emergency, it was very expensive to hire boats which go up to a cost of around K450, 000 for a  return trip," said Binga.

He thanked Hangartner for donating and installing the X-ray machine for free, saying it was  going to be expensive to hire engineers for installation.

The hospital’s health and social services director, David Sibale, appealed to the hospital  administration to take good care of the equipment.

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