By Bertha Chirwa
Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda says Government through her ministry remains focused and ready to achieve the Universal Health Coverage, a benchmark of global health requirement for all.
Addressing a press conference in Lilongwe Chiponda said her Ministry has been meeting with different stakeholders to map the way forward on the issue including meeting foreign stakeholders such as World Health Organisation (WHO).
“We have been meeting with the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Ministers Forum, WHOAfro meeting, Global Fund, Johnson & Johnson,
Global Technologies coalition and also an audience with the Director General of the WHO.
“While in Switzerland, the delegation had the privilege of joining
His Excellency the President of the Republic of Malawi Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera in Davos where a ground breaking announcement of the launch of the Accord for Healthier World was made,” said Chiponda.
During the press briefing, Chiponda said despite gains being registered the ministry is currently undergoing through critical health emergencies battling with Polio, Cholera and Covid-19.
Chiponda said her ministry continues to follow up on the Polio cases, which have been reported in Lilongwe and providing Physiotherapy support through Kamuzu Central Hospital and remain vigilant by ensuring continuous and enhanced surveillance in all districts.
“The Ministry also launched the Polio vaccination campaign and has since conducted two rounds.We are going to have a third round of Polio vaccination beginning 7th of July 2022 to 10th July 2022 for all children under the age of 5 years. We will continue to strengthen and provide support to this fight until we eradicate Polio in Malawi and globally,” she said.
The Minister further said Cholera cases have been reported in almost 8 districts. She said as part of the response her ministry is administering oral cholera vaccine (OCV) to eradicate the outbreak.
The Minister said the focus of the OCV campaign is in 8 flood-affected districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mulanje, Phalombe, Mangochi, Balaka, Blantyre and Machinga.
“Neno was also included as a priority district. The campaign started on 23rd April 2022 and was targeting 1,947,695 persons who are at least 1-year-old. As of 14 June 2022, the coverage rate is at 95%,” said Chiponda.
On Covid 19, Chiponda said since the beginning of the pandemic in Malawi in April 2020, 2,643 deaths have been reported with the overall case-fatality ratio at 3.1%.
“Cumulatively, Malawi has registered a total of 86,024 confirmed COVID-19 cases of which 3076 COVID-19 cases were among health workers.
“COVID-19 is still with us and we must find solutions to build back our economy and social life. Let us make good choices for our health and not choose to be misguided by misinformation, disinformation and myths and misconception regarding COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine,” she said.