Medstrom Supports MAHECAS Hospital Bed Appeal
Thomas Belli, 15 Jan, 2020
When Medstrom was founded 10 years ago, the objective of the owner management team was to bring something new to the specialist hospital bed market. The vision was to not only give the customers more clinical choice, by being an independent provider of products and services, but to build a successful business model that could be both ethical and sustainable.
Recycling and rehoming equipment
A big part of the company’s philosophy has been to maximise the lifespan of the medical equipment that it has managed for NHS Trusts. Delivering the most cost-effective and sustainable solution, which has delayed asset replacement for many years. Through extensive servicing and parts replacement programmes, asset lives have typically been extended to twice their intended term.
Medstrom identified that when its NHS customers eventually decided to upgrade their bed and mattress fleets, there was still a lot of value in the equipment coming out of the hospitals. However, after much time spent looking for opportunities to donate the equipment, the company was unsuccessful in finding any recipients in the UK.
MAHECAS begin appeal
When MAHECAS, a charity focused on providing medical equipment to clinics and hospitals in Malawi, approached Medstrom for support, the company recognised a perfect opportunity to use the surplus equipment. The charity was making an appeal for funds to provide beds, mattresses and the associated shipping costs to get them over to landlocked Malawi. This equipment was to be placed into government-owned hospitals where most patients were being currently nursed on the floor and with very little provision. In total, the charity had identified a total demand for 3,000 beds in the country and was looking to kick start an ambitious initiative to supply this entire shortfall over time.
MAHECAS and Medstrom collaboration
In September 2018, Medstrom identified 600 beds and 400 mattresses coming out of a UK hospital and in conjunction with MAHECAS, arranged to store the equipment whilst shipping and logistics arrangements were put into place. It became clear that the shipping costs to Malawi were going to be very high and that the charity were unable to raise the funds alone. Medstrom offered a significant cash donation towards the overall shipping costs and this support gave the charity the impetus to approach the authorities in Malawi to gain the remainder of the funds required. The whole initiative was also supported massively by Medstrom’s freight partner, DG Light Haulage, who helped subsidise the storage costs of the beds over the 6-month fundraising period in Malawi.
In March 2019, the 10 big sea containers carrying the beds and mattresses left the UK heading to Nacala port and then onto Lilongwe, the Capital of Malawi. Finally, in December, the distribution began. Bwaila in Lilongwe was one of the first hospitals to receive 51 beds. Recorded as one of the busiest maternity units in Africa, where as many as 100 babies have been born in a day and where expectant mothers lie on the floor.
The impact of this equipment on the care of these women is immeasurable, along with any other patients in the hospitals and clinics across Malawi who will receive these beds and mattresses.
Here, the Minister of Health Mr Jappie Mhango was waiting to greet the charity Chairperson Prescott Kaliati when the beds were being installed, along with press, television and radio.
As more equipment becomes redundant in the future from NHS Trusts, the Medstrom vision is to rehome and recycle that equipment that is so greatly appreciated and needed elsewhere in the world, making a difference to lives in a way that most cannot comprehend. The company intend to support MAHECAS with its vision to supply all the 3,000 bed shortfall to Malawi over the next few years and will support the initiative with both direct financial donations and support through fund raising initiatives.