Finally government has given Eric Mabedi air tickets to travel to India for a kidney transplant surgery.
On Friday, Mabedi had a meeting with Ministry of Health officials, including principal secretary Dr Dan Namarika, director of clinical services Dr Chithope Mwale and chief of health services Dr Charles Mwansambo at Capital Hill in Lilongwe over the trip.
Mabedi’s trip appeared to be hanging in balance after missing the initial date of departure, October 28, following delayed feedback from the Indian hospital where the surgery was expected to take place.
But Mabedi sounded relieved when he confirmed in a telephone interview that he is expected to leave for India on Wednesday through Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe.
He said: “We were summoned by MoH officials together with the kidney donor, guardian and members of my family. They took us through the whole process and explained what caused the slight delay in finalising the arrangement.
“Normally government sends its patients to Artemis Hospital but due to the complexity of my situation, changes had to be made so that I can be treated at BLK Hospital which only specialises in kidney transplants.”
Mabedi said he is happy that he will be treated at a hospital recommended by the doctors who treated him at Mwaiwathu Hospital.
He also paid tribute both the government and the public for their support.
Mabedi said: “There is a holiday the whole of this week at the Indian Embassy but special arrangements have been made that we collect our visas on Tuesday so that we can leave on Wednesday. I have been in touch with doctors at the BLK Hospital and we sent them our tickets already.”
The Ministry of Health committed to assist Mabedi after well-wishers, identifying themselves as Friends of Mabedi, sounded an SOS to help the actor raise K20 million to fly him to India.
Friends of Mabedi spokesperson Higger Mkandawire described the development as a huge relief.
“Every day that passes is making Mabedi’s situation more desperate,” he said.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango confirmed of the Friday meeting but could not give more details.
Mabedi said he is expected to stay in India for 30 days.
He is one of the directors of Kwathu Drama Group, one of the oldest drama groups in the country. He is also the president of National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam). He was recently appointed board chairperson for the Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma).