A friend in need is a friend indeed, so the saying goes.
The adage proved true to communities surrounding Lake Chirwa in Phalombe district when representatives from Pharmanova Malawi Limited donated MK250,000 worth of medical supplies and water guard to help ease the cholera problem facing the residents.
Statistics from the district’s health office show that two people have so far died from the outbreak while nearly 200 others are currently suffering from the waterborne disease.
The hardest hit villages include Chisoni, Nyezerera, Chimbalanga and Chitekesa in the traditional authority Chiwalo. They all rely on water from the lake for domestic use including drinking and cooking.
Speaking to Nyasa Times the District’s Environmental Health Officer Samuel Epiphi owed the outbreak to low water levels in the lake coupled with poor sanitation which has led to an increase of germs that cause cholera.
Official records show that during the rainy season the water levels are at 500 turbidity units but currently the measurement has gone down to about 1000 turbidity units.
“There is high level of cholera content because we know that around the lake are people who live on the lake, they defecate there and also use the same water for drinking. Even those people who go to the lake to buy fish are also affected equally because they also use the same water for drinking,” said Epiphi.
Besides Phalombe, Lake Chirwa is also shared by the residents of Zomba and Chiradzulu districts.
In his speech during the presentation ceremony which was attended by journalists from various media houses mainly from Blantyre, Pharmanova marketing manager Peter Makwana said the move was a follow-up to reports on the outbreak in various media.
“As Pharmanova we have taken an initiative to come and see what exactly is going on, on the ground and also brought some products to help some patients and also people who are drinking the dirty water.
“We have seen it that it is very bad and definitely other organisations need to come and help them,” said Makwana who was franked by the company’s brand ambassador, Agnes Mtimaukanena also one of Malawi’s female boxers.
However Epiphi applauded the company for coming to the people’s rescue and asked other companies and organisations to take a leaf from what Pharmanova’s gesture saying the assembly is failing to assist the affected people because of the minimum resources.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :