Save the Children Donates US$55,000 worth of Medical Supplies towards Malawi’s National Cholera Response

Thursday 12 January 2023

Save the Children Country Director, Ashebir Debebe (Right) makes a symbolic handover of the medical supplies to Secretary for Health Dr. Charles Mwansambo at Ministry of Health Offices in Malawi’s Capital City Lilongwe. Picture Credits – Thokozile Makawa/Save the Children

On 11th January 2023, Save the Children donated medical supplies worth $55,000 to the Malawi government to boost the national response amid the worst cholera outbreak in two decades that has claimed 750 lives so far.

Since the onset of the outbreak in March 2022, Malawi has registered over 22,000 cases.

The outbreak has spread to all 29 districts of the country.

The top reported risk factors contributing to the occurrence of new cholera cases are unsafe water sources, open defecation and poor food hygiene.

Speaking during the donation, Save the Children Malawi Country Office Director Ashebir Debebe said the impact of the outbreak on survival and learning rights of children is alarming.

“There is need to ensure that the underlying causes of Cholera are identified and addressed to mitigate the recurrence of the outbreak.

“We strongly recommend enhanced mobilization of national and international actors including the general public, CSOs, private sector and the public sector towards tackling the spread of the outbreak,” he said.

Like no other, the current outbreak has the face of the child. Over 30% of the registered cases are children and for the first time, Malawi has recorded cases in children below the age of five.

In his acceptance speech Secretary for Health Dr. Charles Mwansambo thanked Save the Children for the timely donation.

“As you are aware, with a cholera cumulative case load of over 22,000 spread across all the districts, coming on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, polio outbreak, the storm and cyclone, the Ministry of Health is overstretched. Our capacity to fully respond to the outbreak in such a challenging moment has been compromised,” he said.

 The donation is part of Save the Children’s ongoing support in nine out of the 28 cholera hit districts in Malawi.

To date, among other activities, Save the Children has supported:

·       The Deployment of 231 health care workers to 21 Cholera Treatment Units (CTUs) in Nkhotakota and Mzimba North.

·       Conducted 16 sessions of cholera case management training for health care workers and trained 658 health care providers on how to manage Cholera.

·       Procured and handed-over Drugs & Cholera supplies to Nsanje DHO worth USD50,000.00

·       Strengthened WASH interventions including procurement and distribution of handwashing soap in schools, procurement and distribution of HTH and conducting pot-to-pot chlorination.

·       Strengthening of risk communication and community engagement (RCCE), supporting monitoring, and supervision. 

·       Strengthened hygiene promotion in schools through distribution of hand washing soap, orientation of teachers and awareness raising to learners on Cholera prevention.