Significant efforts have been made by governments, non-profit organisations (NGOs) and the private sector to reduce the impact of malaria in the country by scaling up on intervention methods , but the battle is far from over with the disease still the biggest killer in Malawi.
Jane Makina, World Vision Malawi Southern Zone Manager made the remarks on Wednesday during the Global Fund Malaria Project, Health Facility Advisory Committees Training for Chiradzulu district, which took place at Masuku Lodge in Zomba.
Makina said malaria is still the number one cause of hospitalizations and deaths in Malawi, especially to children under two.
“Malaria remains a leading killer of children in Malawi. It is the most frequent cause of morbidity and mortality in Malawian children under five years of age.It is the cause of over 40% of deaths in children under two. Children under five suffer on average 9.7 malaria episodes per year, while adults suffer 6.1 such episodes,” she said.
She also said the human and economic costs are enormous because of malaria, in addition to the expenses of consultation, treatment, hospitalization and travel, malaria often leads to low productivity and lost income from days of work missed.
Makina said the cost of malaria to the average Malawian household has been estimated at US$35 annually – or 7.2% of average household income.
She said all these issues require the nation’s immediate voice and action.
As one way of immediate action, Makina said World Vision Malawi received a grant from Global Fund on behalf of the Malawi Government to implement the non biomedical interventions against malaria in Malawi.
She said the project, which has been running from January 2016 and will go through to December 2017 is covering all districts in Malawi.
World Vision Malawi is implementing the project in collaboration with the government of Malawi, particularly the Ministry of Health.
She said the training is therefore part of the planned activities for the May 2016 to July 2016 quarter and is aimed at equipping Health Advisory Committees with knowledge on how to play their rightful role in ensuring that health service delivery standards are being met, as well as preventing drug pilferage.
“World Vision Malawi recognizes Government’s commitment to strengthen accountability in health facilities through establishment of Health Advisory Committees at district and health centre’s. In order to strengthen this role WV will train the Health Advisory Committees in Citizen Voice and action with the purpose of empowering community members to play an active role in ensuring accountability in the provision of health services,” she said.
Citizen voice and action activities will be implemented in 14 districts across the nation and therefore in Chiradzulu, Thyolo and Blantyre districts in the southern region
Representing Chiradzulu District Health Officer was Dr Isaac Mbingwani, who urged the participants to work together and ensure that the knowledge and skills gained during the training is implemented in their communities to totally eradicate malaria.
“It may appear a toll order but with our commitment it can be achieved. May I request you all to fully participate in this training in order to significantly contribute towards the goal of reduction in malaria case and deaths,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :