Chikwawa, The Ministry of Health (MoH) says it will soon engage their counterparts in Mozambique and Zimbabwe in order to strategize on the best possible ways to deal with Cholera cases that have impacted the three countries.
Speaking at Kakoma area under Senior Traditional Authority Chapananga on Wednesday, Health Minister, Dr Peter Kumpalume disclosed this when he declared Chapananga an Open Defecation Free (ODF) area.
He said health officials from Malawi will next week meet their counterparts in Tete Mozambique to discuss possible measures to end cholera.
“As Minister I have taken keen interest in ending Open Defecation. As you are aware that we cannot end water borne diseases if we are not following good hygiene for example we have to ensure that we have good toilets as well as having access to clean water,” Kumpalume said.
The Minister added that the amount of money spent when there is an outbreak of cholera is huge citing the situation at Gaga Health Centre in Chikwawa where a team from Lilongwe has to travel to confirm the outbreak and ensure that they contain it from spreading to other areas.
Kumpalume said it was of paramount importance that countries that share borders with Malawi like Mozambique and Zimbabwe need to interact so as to end the disease.
“If we have cholera in Malawi and people move in and out of the country we definitely have cholera in the other countries. So, we need to collaborate as authorities as you know we had cholera in Mozambique and it has spread,” the minister added.
He said his ministry will be visiting Tete to discuss how they can strengthen the integration of services to make sure that they are both on the same page and are able to support each other in ensuring that any contagious diseases are contained within a particular locality and not spread to other areas.
Kettie Harawa, Country Director for Water for People an organization that implements water and sanitation programmes in the area of Senior Chief Chapananga said her organization managed to reach 95 percent of people in the area in as far as access to safe water and sanitation is concerned.
“This means that in the said areas, we have managed to provide safer water points like a boreholes and taps,” she said, adding that some few households were not reached because they were located in remote areas hence had to move closer to where their water points are located.
Harawa said her organization is exiting Chapananga area, and relocating to Ngabu area where they intend to drill about 125 new boreholes and rehabilitate 30 water points within the area.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Chikwawa West Constituency, Kennedy Maluwa said he was happy that Chapananga was declared ODF adding that this was achieved from the concerted efforts the people of the area, the traditional leaders as well as NGOs in the area showed towards developing the area.
During the event, the health minister visited Kakoma and Gaga Health Centres on top of honouring Senior Chief Chapananga with a certificate declaring his area ODF.
The country recently experienced cases of cholera which were believed to be coming from neighbouring Mozambique, where the outbreak first started.
Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA