The Government of Japan has commended the partnership between UNICEF and the Government of Malawi for its contribution in reducing child deaths through the establishment of village clinics. Village clinics have cut the distance mothers have to travel to health centres with sick children making basic health services available within the village.
Ambassador of Japan to Malawi Kae Yanagisawa made the remarks when she visited Chimphande Village Clinic in Dedza district to observe some of the operations being implemented by UNICEF with support from the Government of Japan.
“I am very much pleased to see community members actively involved in the provision of health services,” says Ambassador Yanagisawa.
“The concept of village clinics is not only beneficial to mothers, who in the absence of such facilities, have to travel long journeys to access health for their sick children but is also a cost effective way to enhance availability of health care in the rural areas,” she said.
During the visit, Ambassador Yanagisawa had an opportunity to see a community based health screening, immunization and basic treatment of sick children at the village clinic under the Dedza district health office.
For the past two years, the Government of Japan has supported activities implemented by UNICEF in Malawi by providing a grant amounting USD1.13 million. The grant supported UNICEF’s ongoing operations to improve community health, nutrition, HIV, protection, and disease surveillance in 10 districts in Malawi.
The grant aims at strengthening community health systems for nutrition service delivery for the early identification, referral for treatment of children with acute malnutrition through improving the quality of care services in health facilities and village clinics for children under the age of five.
Through the support, about 250,000 children in the focus districts will access basic health care services such as immunization, growth monitoring and treatment of malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia which are prominent child killer diseases. In addition, UNICEF has procured drugs used in the village clinics, bought bicycles and back packs for the health surveillance assistants (HSA) that run the clinics.
“The support from the Government of Japan has enabled us to offer critical support to the health system such as training of HSAs and the actual establishment of the village clinics,” said Johannes Wedenig, UNICEF Representative, Malawi.
“Although as a country we are making good progress in reducing child deaths, we still have some challenges that need support such as the high number of children dying from preventable diseases. We continue to work on reducing these numbers as we believe that every child deserves a chance to survive and thrive,” explained Wedenig.