Evangelical Lutheran Church of Malawi through its development arm has called on government to consider provide adequate support to village clinics with referral facilities in a bid to arrest the problem of malaria incidents.
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Malawi (ELCM) Bishop Dr. Joseph Bvumbwe made the call on Monday after a solidarity big walk against malaria in Monkey Bay, Mangochi.
Bvumbwe said there was need for government to provide referral facilities to village clinics in order for such local structures to effectively refer malaria cases to nearby health centres in order to deal with the disease once and for all.
“Other than just providing such support it would also be in our interest to see that government trains more Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) on how to test people if they have malaria parasites,” Bvumbwe observed.
He added that such empowerment was necessary so that the frontline health workers could treat patients with malaria right at village level since most patients die on their way to hospital due to long distances to health facilities.
“Village clinics do not have malaria test kits and we would, therefore, to ask government to provide testing materials to all village clinics in the country in order to eradicate malaria,” Bvumbwe said.
Bvumbwe also said malaria was still a problem to the world which required concerted efforts between the church and government. He pointed out that most of the people who die from the disease were pregnant women and under five children.
Speaking at the same function, Monkey Bay Community Hospital In – Charge, Fredrick Kapinga who joined in the march said time has come for government through the Ministry of Health to review case the management policy.
“Guidelines of case management policy do not allow HSAs to carry out any work related to treatment of diseases instead it empowers them to ensure diseases are prevented at community level,” Kapinga said.
He admitted that empowerment of such health cadre was necessary as it would narrow the gap between the doctor and the patient, observing that a doctor only visits a clinic twice a month while HSAs live and operate in such localities, hence training them on some basic diagnosis and treatment of minor ailments but life threatening like malaria.
Kapinga said Malawi is one of the countries in the world which seems to be winning the battle against malaria, adding that government is committed to work with its partners in the fight against malaria assuring ELCM of continued support to the cause.
The global world with support from the World Health Organisation observes malaria day on April 25.
However, in Malawi the ELCM took the gesture to commemorate the day on 5 May which started with a big walk from Evangelical Lutheran Church to Monkey Bay Community Hospital where they presented a petition to government which appeals for up-scaling of efforts addressing malaria which is common in district and other lakeshore areas.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :