USAID Malawi Momentum Tikweze Umoyo Project has handed over various medical supplies to five district health offices of Chitipa, Karonga, Nkhotakota, Kasungu and Salima.
The supplies are part of the support that the project is providing to the districts to help in coordinating and managing cholera response activities which is valued at $350,000 (354 million kwacha) for all the districts.
USAID Momentum Tikweze Umoyo project is a$28 million five-year USAID-funded project and it aims at reducing maternal, new born, and child morbidity and mortality in Malawi.
The project is designed to address major challenges facing the health sector in Malawi, particularly poor health outcomes in the five districts of Chitipa, Karonga, Kasungu, Nkhotakota, and Salima by focusing on providing quality primary care for essential and integrated maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH), family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH), nutrition, WASH and malaria while addressing the social determinants specifically WASH, nutrition, gender, education, livelihood, and policy.
The project is made possible with the support of the American people through USAID and is being implemented by Amref Health Africa in Malawi in collaboration with a consortium of six partners namely: WaterAid, YouthWave, Family Health Services, Emmanuel International, FPAM and D-Tree.
Speaking in Salima during the symbolic handover of the medical supplies to the district health office, USAID Momentum Tikweze Umoyo project Chief of Party, Marriam Mangochi, said this is part of the efforts by the project to assist the government of Malawi in managing the cholera outbreak which was declared a national emergency in December 2022.
“This cholera outbreak is an emergency that needs urgent action from all of us. That’s why as a project we are providing these resources to support coordination of the cholera response activities especially in the five districts of Chitipa, Karonga, Nkhotakota, Kasungu and Salima where we are implementing the USAID Momentum Tikweze Umoyo project whose aim is to reduce maternal, newborn, and child morbidity and mortality,” said Mangochi.
She added, “So, today we are handing over these various medical supplies to help these five districts manage the cholera outbreak. Some of the materials we are donating today include chlorine, cannulas, personal protection equipment (PPEs), and Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS), among others, and these have already been dispatched to the other districts. Apart from the medical supplies we are also supporting the districts with surveillance and reporting of cholera cases at the community level as well as distribution of public health guidance so that communities have the right information and know how they can prevent the further spread of the disease.”
Mangochi further stated that another important area of support that they intend to do is to support the government of Malawi in addressing the human resource for health (HRH) gap currently experienced in the severely impacted districts.
She said they have already started working with the district councils in these five districts to recruit temporary staff to support case management at treatment camps as well as supporting other interventions to ease the cholera burden in the districts.’
Commenting on the donation, Salima District Environmental Health Officer Reuben Chikadza said the support from the Momentum Tikweze Umoyo project will go a long way in containing and managing the disease in the district.
“As a district we are struggling to mobilize resources to implement planned activities for cholera response and we are grateful to USAID through the Momentum Tikweze Umoyo project for this timely support. This support will help us in scaling up surveillance and reporting of cases especially with the additional staff that the project is planning to bring to us,” said Chikadza.
The donated cholera supplies comprise medical supplies such as chlorine, face masks, cannulas, disposable aprons, ORS, hand sanitizers, alcohol swabs, hand washing soap, gloves, and giving sets. These donated items will further strengthen the government’s efforts to contain the cholera outbreak in the country.