LSTM launches fundraising appeal to support COVID-19 research and response in Malawi

News article 1 Apr 2020
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LSTM has launched a fundraising appeal to support COVID-19 research efforts and frontline response in Malawi, one of the most under-resourced health systems in the world.

The COVID-19 Response and Resilience Fund will raise vital funds that will support Malawi’s health system, enable more cutting-edge research to fight the pandemic and ensure future resilience within the health system.

LSTM already partners with the University of Liverpool to develop new solutions to tackle COVID-19 through a recently announced £1million research fund. LSTM’s COVID-19 Response and Resilience Fund compliments this investment to ensure the continuation of pump-priming of innovative and novel solutions. 

As one of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi’s health system is fragile and grossly ill-prepared for the devastation this pandemic will cause. There are less than 350 doctors for a population of 18million – just one per 50,000 people. 

Estimates show that 30-70% of patients aged 17-44 presenting to hospital will need oxygen; current provision means that less than 10% could be treated effectively. There are around 25 intensive care beds available for the whole country and Malawi’s President has declared a national emergency as the country prepares for the virus to hit. 

LSTM has maintained a leading role in improving the country’s health over the last three decades via the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome research programme (MLW) and will continue to do so as the country prepares for the impact of COVID-19. 

Director of LSTM, Professor David Lalloo, said: “LSTM is in a unique position to support the efforts to tackle this deadly pandemic both here and overseas. Many of our team around the world are working tirelessly to minimise the potentially catastrophic impact of the pandemic on the most fragile health systems. This appeal will provide critical and urgent funding to help provide basic equipment which will save many lives.”

Karen Brady, Director of Fundraising, said: “LSTM’s work has never been more important.  For decades, LSTM has worked at the forefront of infectious diseases research, developing new solutions and training generations of global health leaders, many of whom are now driving global efforts to control COVID-19.  This fund will enable us to partner with donors to create real impact and save lives.”

More information can be found here