Donors appeal for $45.3 million cholera aid
United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Rebecca Adda-Dontoh has said despite all the efforts taken since the first cholera case was reported in Malawi nearly one year ago, the situation remains grave.
This comes as UN and humanitarian partners in Malawi have launched an appeal to assist four million people, including 56,000 refugees and asylum seekers, who have been hardest-hit by cholera and are at the highest risk of contracting the disease.
“Every day, the number of cases increases, and more people die.
“The good news is that while cholera is highly transmissible, it is also easily treatable when cases are caught early and preventable when communities have access to clean water and good sanitation,” Adda-Dontoh said.
She appealed for support from global partners, adding that it is the wish of the partners and the government to see no one dying of cholera in 2023.
According to a statement released by the UN yesterday, partners are asking for $45.3 million for the next five months.
The appeal comes at a time cholera and death cases have increased since the beginning of January 2023, worsening what is already the deadliest cholera outbreak in the country’s history.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has welcomed the partners’ latest effort.
“The appeal will help us curb the cholera outbreak. With cases being recorded every day, this is the deadliest outbreak of cholera in the country’s history,” Kandodo Chiponda said.
The Malawi Cholera Flash Appeal, which has been launched, coincides with Government of Malawi’s cholera campaign which is aimed at addressing the most immediate needs of people impacted by the outbreak through an integrated response that brings together health and water, sanitation and hygiene sector players while ensuring that community members are engaged, prepared and supported to respond to and reduce cholera cases.
Acknowledging that the outbreak has taken a devastating toll on the hardest-hit communities, the Flash Appeal also calls for support to essential health, nutrition, education and protection services in affected and high-risk locations.
The cholera outbreak, which started in March 2022, has affected all 29 districts of Malawi and is the largest outbreak in the country in the past two decades.
The number of cases increased dramatically at the start of the rainy season in November 2022 and, as at February 18 2023, nearly 45,000 cases had been reported, including nearly 1,450 deaths.
Experts anticipate that, unless urgent and intensified action is taken to scale up the response, between 64,000 and 100,000 cases could be reported in the next three months.
Last week, President Lazarus Chakwera launched the cholera campaign, pledging to reduce the transmission and mortality rate of waterborne diseases.
Chakwera said the spread is largely because people in the country are not following good hygiene practices.