Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has expressed satisfaction with the efforts made in the management of cholera in hospitals despite some challenges.
Chiponda was speaking on Wednesday during a day-long tour together with partners to appreciate progress made in containing cholera at Area 18 Health Center, Likuni and Nkhoma mission Hospitals in Lilongwe.
“We have much efforts being made in these hospitals in the management of the disease although there are still challenges such as human resource and space to keep the patients,” she said.
Chiponda said health facilities like Area 18 Health Center are making efforts to contain the disease but is overwhelmed with cholera cases from beyond its catchment area.
She said the centre needs more tents to keep the patients as it is now receiving cases from Area 25 Health Center where the hospital was closed due to fracas.
In terms of supplies, she said, the hospitals have enough medical supplies and drugs.
Chiponda further said recovery rate is very good as people are getting their treatment in time unlike in the past where they were seeking medical attention very late when they are weak.
Chiponda said the government is grateful to mission hospitals such as Likuni and Nkhoma under the Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) for standing with the government to manage cholera.
The hospitals are receiving cholera cases from the communities without charging any fee, she said.
From the government side, Chiponda said, they have increased the number of health workers, increased surveillance and medical supplies to both public and CHAM hospitals in order to contain the disease.
World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative, Neema Kimambo said the cholera outbreak in the country has been prolonged with the biggest escalation in a few months.
“When the numbers are high it is difficult to manage. Generally, when you have a cholera outbreak, the expectation is that you have less one percent of people die but this outbreak there is three percent and in Lilongwe is worse at six percent people dying,” she said
Kimambo said her organization and other partners have put much effort in supporting capacity building, medical supplies, community components to ensure Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) are trained among others.
However, Kelson Masiyano, Chief Medical Officer at Area 18 Health Center said the centre has been hardly hit by cholera with 336 cases since December 2022.