A SCOTTISH doctor has thanked donors who helped raise funds to pay for life-saving water tanks for a hospital in Africa.

Paediatrician Louisa Pollock had to wash blood off her hands in the rain when floods caused a chronic shortage of clean water at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.

She also faced the harrowing task of choosing which child patient could receive a blood transfusion as the lack of fluids meant there was not enough for all.

The 38-year-old launched a campaign to raise £10,000 to install water storage tanks at the hospital exceeded that total thanks to an outpouring of sympathy.

The appeal was also given £1,000 from the Scottish Government's Scotland Malawi Partnership Flood Emergency Fund, and £6,000 from the the Lady Fatemah Charitable Trust, taking the total to £16,000.

Dr Pollock, from Stirling, said: "Without clean water a hospital simply cannot function safely. We can’t wash our hands, keep wards clean, bathe the patients and cook their meals.

"The toilets quickly become filthy and an infection risk. No water also means no x-rays, no lab tests and no operations. Unpredictable rains mean our mains water is frequently off.

"The water tanks provide us with a backup supply of clean water. It is such a basic need, I can’t thank our donors enough for the difference this will make to our patients and our hospital."

HeraldScotland: The tanks provide clean running water The tanks provide clean running water

More than 170 people died in flash floods caused by heavy rain at the start of last year. Water supplies had to be provided by two tanker trucks and carefully rationed among the 1,800 people who flocked to the hospital, as well as staff and visitors.

Dr Pollock added: "We realised to help supply the whole hospital we would need not one tank, but four. One each for the medical and children's wards, one for the neonatal wards and children's emergency department, and one for the hospital kitchen.

"The tanks have already come in useful. At the hospital, the water can be off for hours at a time. The tanks kelp us keep patients and staff clean and safe during that time."