Standard Bank steps up cholera fight with K30m donation towards cholera containment 

In recognition that the displacement of people due to the flash floods that hit the Southern Region, which increases the risk of some communicable diseases, such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid, diarrhoea and others, Standard Bank Plc partnered with the Ministry of Health’s  Presidential Task Force on Cholera aimed at helping to curb the likely resurgence of the disease.

A statement says as part of the joint effort, Standard Bank has pumped K30 million to the Ministry, which part of K120 million the bank has set aside for Cyclone Freddy relief through Malawi Red Cross Society and through the Presidential Task Force for CoVID-19 and Cholera.

Standard Bank CEO Phillip Madinga presents the cheque to Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda

The other tranche of K90 million was immediately released last week and handing over to the Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, Standard Bank Chief Executive Phillip Madinga said the donation aims to help the Presidential Taskforce to mitigate the impact of a possible resurgence in the water-borne disease in the wake of the aftermath of severe Cyclone Freddy-induced flooding for most parts of Southern Malawi.

As of Monday evening the country recorded 162 new cases of cholera and two new deaths from Lilongwe and Mulanje — bringing related total fatalities at 1,684 and confirmed cases at 54,839. A total of 52,871 people have recovered and as of Monday, 284 were in treatment centres

Madinga said: “Standard Bank fully appreciates the impact of cholera in the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy. We realize that there is now an increased risk of infection from Cholera and other water-borne communicable disease because of the cyclone.

“The latest statistics show that although case reporting is nationwide, new cholera infections and deaths are unrelenting in the Cyclone Freddy affected areas, hence our decision to set aside an allocation in addition to the cyclone relief package,” he said.

Madinga said Standard Bank Plc will continue standing together with Malawians in their time of need as was the case during the CoVID-19 outbreak in 2019 and after cyclones Ana and Idai hit.

“Our donation is a continuation of our long-term action and response to the country’s complex disasters.  As you are aware, since 2019, the Bank has been a trusted partner in providing financial assistance in response to the CoVID-19 pandemic and cyclones Ana and Idai.”

He added the Bank’s response resonates with its brand purpose of ‘Malawi is our Home; We Drive her Growth’ — which calls for partnership with government and other stakeholders in contributing to nation building efforts, and an obligation to assist those in their time of need.

“In this hour of need, and like in all times of emergencies, we at Standard Bank Plc declare our solidarity with every Malawian who has been affected — directly or indirectly — by these two disasters.

“Our belief in the long-term impact of our support has prompted us to look beyond the cyclone disaster and support the on-going cholera pandemic” he said.

Madinga commended the Presidential Taskforce in their diligent work so far in managing the cholera pandemic, saying: “Malawi is at a critical juncture of fighting the consecutive disasters — cholera epidemic and Cyclone Freddy.

“Our hope is that through these donations, the work of the taskforce and other stakeholders in fighting cholera should continue unencumbered during another cyclone disaster, which may stretch public resources,” he said.

The Health Minister thanked Standard Bank for the positive action, which she described as a timely intervention and also applauded the bank for providing funds for both emergencies.

In her situation report of Monday, Chiponda said Tropical Cyclone Freddy has caused serious loss of lives and property in the Southern Region — ultimately threatening sustainable development in Malawi, that include increasing the risk of some communicable diseases, such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid, diarrhoea and others.

“Diarrhoea diseases are mainly spread through faecal-oral route, hence poor water sanitation conditions play an important role in transmission,” she said. “The displacement of people not only increases the risk of poor water and sanitation but also poor personal hygiene and an increase in vector breeding sites

“Unfortunately, these increases the transmission of infectious diseases and occurrences of outbreaks yet access to healthcare services can be limited in these environments.

“It is, therefore, important that we follow the recommended preventive measures which include washing hands with soap frequently, use of safe water, proper use of toilets and eating food while it is hot among others — prevention is better than cure.

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