Sample Transport Program
With funding from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other in-kind donations from Ministry of Health (MoH), R4H is operating the ST program in 28 districts of Malawi reaching a total of 790 health facilities comprising of Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM), Health Centers, Community Hospitals, District Hospitals and Central Hospitals.
The goal of the Sample Transport (ST) program is to increase access to diagnostic services in the targeted 28 districts of Malawi. The ST program ensures that samples collected from patients at health centers or hospitals are transported on a regularly-scheduled basis and in a professional, consistent, safe, and quality-controlled manner to designated laboratories. After testing, the results are promptly returned to the originating site, allowing for accelerated follow-up with individual patients. The service enables and supports improved diagnosis and monitoring, and in some cases initiation of treatment for patients. In Malawi, R4H has been implementing the Sample Transport program since 2013.
R4H undertakes Health Care Waste Management services, safely disposing of potentially hazardous waste from health facilities across Malawi. There are growing HIV programs as well as COVID-19 health services which are producing additional waste, such as waste containing contaminated Guanidinium Thiocyanate (GTC). GTC is found in tests that are required to manage HIV Viral Load (VL), Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) and SARS-CoV-2 – necessary for anyone potentially infected by these viruses.
These tests do assist in HIV treatment monitoring (VL), early HIV diagnosis from HIV exposed children (EID) and COVID-19 case detection. However, open burning and incineration using ordinary /low-grade incineration of contaminated waste like this can result in emission and release of dioxins, furans, and particulate matter leading to poor health and environmental outcomes. R4H implements health care waste management activity in Malawi, and has safely managed over a total of 5.5 tones (Yr 2019 to 2021) and 2.8 tones (Year 2021) to date.
R4H works at the intersection of where health and transport meet. Through this unique position we address the increasing problem of fatal road traffic accidents and deaths in Malawi, particularly those involving motorcycles. We work in partnership with the Government of Malawi as well as with transport focused organizations in the private sector to promote safe motorcycle riding. We want to change behaviors in relation to motorcycle awareness for the rider and promote safety on and off the road for all road users.
We have delivered advanced training lessons by our internationally trained and assessed instructors to riders from organizations such as JTI, PIH, Limbe Leaf Tobacco Limited, TEVET and VSO. R4H also works with The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services to train commercial riders (“kabaza”) that ferry people on Malawi roads at a subsidized price. In addition to training and supplying protective wear and helmets for motorcycles to individuals and organizations. We believe a key component to reducing road traffic accidents is that the motorcycle itself should be well maintained and kept in good working order. To do this, R4H provides motorcycle servicing to different organization such as Water Aid, FPAM and TAPP. We also provide for motorcycle assembling works for different organizations. FAO and Mary’s Meals are some of the organizations that we have provided this service to.