Malawi loses K8bn annually to preventable diseases, says Health Minister

Government says it is losing  K8 billion in treating preventable diseases as 52 percent of the diseases that are recorded in the country’s health facilities are avertable.

Minister of Health Dr.Peter Kumpalume immunises a child
Minister of Health Dr.Peter Kumpalume immunises a child

Minister of Health Dr  Peter Kumpalume revealed the development in an interview on the sidelines of celebration of Open Defecation Free (ODF) status in the area of chief Makoko saying government could have been saving resources if all the country’s populace were following good hygiene and sanitation practices.

Kumpalume noted with concern that government is pumping a lot of resources in treating preventable diseases annually.

“[Almost] 52 percent of the diseases recorded in the country’s health facilities are preventable. Government could have been saving over  K8 billion annually if all the people in the country were following good sanitation and hygiene practices. Therefore, we need to prevent them by endorsing good practices

“Even a quarter of the deaths that are recorded in the country comes from preventable diseases which is a unfortunate,” said the minister.

The Health Minister commended people of the area of Traditional Authority Makoko in Nsanje on their attainment of Open Defecation Free (ODF) status through a 3 year Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) project implemented by Goal Malawi saying that is the way to go.

According to the Health Minister embracing such programs is crucial as it will not only help save resources but also ease the pressure of work facing the country’s medics.

Traditional Authority Makoko has hailed the Goal Malawi Initiative saying his area has managed to fight cholera and diarrhea cases to zero in the past two years.

Traditional Authority Makoko said such ailments used to haunt his area before the implementation of the project.

According to Assistant Program Director for Goal Malawi Phillipa Sachets apart from triggering the communities to attain the ODF status, the Department for International Development (DFID) and Unicef funded projects have also facilitated the construction of 45 boreholes and rehabilitation of 104 boreholes that broken down.

Goal Malawi has been implementing the project in the areas of Makoko, Ndamera and Malemia.

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