March 2, 2017:   The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has made a donation of K1.2 billion (over US$1.6 million) in surgical and medical supplies for Malawi hospitals.

The move was framed by national Malawian newspaper Nyasa Times as a bailing out of the national government’s Ministry of Health.

The Nyasa Times reports that the drug budgets of the country’s public hospitals have been exhausted and that medical and surgical supplies are in short supply.

Funding for the ADRA donation comes through Globus Relief and Islamic Relief USA.

ADRA Malawi’s country director, Michael Usi praised Malawi’s government for making it possible for non-governmental agencies to help the country’s health sector.

“This is clear testimony that non-governmental organizations such as ADRA and government are partners in development. It’s our prayers that this donation meets its intended purpose. We will be surprised to hear that it has been stolen.”

In addition to his words of affirmation, Usi who has been known to be openly critical of the Malawi government lamented the current shortages in public hospitals.

He stressed the importance of ensuring proper use of the medical supplies.

“We have had good conversation with Ministry of health and it’s our belief that this donation will meet its intended purpose. It’s the duty of hospitals officials to protect these supplies,” said Usi.

The donation comes after news earlier this year that top officials of Malawi’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were lobbying to have Usi fired from his position as head of ADRA Malawi.

Some of the government officials campaigning for Michael Usi’s dismissal were themselves identified as Adventist.

Usi’s detractors accused him of politically-motivated work as he has fiercely critiqued the DPP and the leadership of Malawi’s president, President Peter Mutharika.

Usi who also happens to be a popular comedian with nationwide visibility has frequently lambasted Mutharika as an incompetent leader, unable to solve Malawi’s deep-seated social and economic woes.