By Alfred Mthandizi
Ministry of Health has said malaria is killing more than ten people each passing day in Malawi. Chief of Health Services in the Ministry, Dr. Charles Mwansambo said this Tuesday in Lilongwe at the Bingu Convention Centre when he opened a three day World Vision Malawi start-up workshop. “The media has written much on Cholera and yet the disease has killed only 6 people since it started, It’s time that the same media should also focus on Malaria.” said Mwansambo.
He said Malaria contributes to about 30 percent of outpatients in most health facilities in the country and 40 percent of admissions. “If you look at deaths occurring, we lose about close to 10 people a day due to malaria. That’s a very big burden to the country. Last year alone, we had more than six million cases of malaria in our health facilities and that is about a third of our total population,” Mwansambo explained.
He said there is need for all stakeholders in the country to join hands in order to address the current situation. Mwansambo disclosed that government has put in place measures to control the spread of malaria and that in every three years it ensures that distribution of free bed nets to the community is done to enhance the fight against the disease.
He said there are a number of interventions put in place to curb the spread of malaria such as killing the vectors by spreading homesteads with pesticides, sleeping under treated nets, giving preventive tablets to pregnant mothers and accessing health facilities once noticing signs of the disease. “We have noted that World Vision will be distributing over 10.9 million mosquito nets to 3.5 million households in the country. We observed that 25 percent of the population uses the nets in their houses,” the Chief of Health Services pointed out.
He noted that government alone could not achieve the drive but it needs collective approach among communities and various stakeholders in the fight against malaria. World Vision Malawi Programs Manager, Charles Chimombo said the starter-up worship aims at ensuring that all stakeholders involved in the distribution of the 10.9 million mosquito nets are well informed.
He said the implementation of the mass campaign requires collaborative efforts by all stakeholders for it to be a success. “We believe the nets to be distributed to the communities will be put to good use and that the fight against malaria among families can be enhanced for the better,” he pointed out.
He noted that the project of that nature would require good coordination among, World Vision, the Ministry Health and other partners. “We will ensure that we jointly plan our activities with the Ministry of Health and other partners to enhance coordination both at national and district levels. We will ensure the Ministry leads the whole process while we focus on issues of prudence and accountability,” he added.
Malawi Global fund Coordinating Committee, Vice Chairperson, Maziko Matemba noted that Civil Society Organizations’ (CSOs) involvement was not for mere participation but to help in accountability and monitoring and ensure overall sustainability of the program.
He pointed out that a principle recipient of the malaria grant, World Vision should ensure efficient and accountable use of all the resources entrusted to them through the global fund. World Vision received new funding from Global Fund which was signed on November 9, 2017 by the Malawi Government and its supporting partners which will run from 2018 to 2020.