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UK joins cholera response efforts


Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda

The United Kingdom (UK) has committed £500,000 [over K600 million] towards Malawi’s cholera emergency response.

The development comes at a time Malawi is battling its worst cholera outbreak.

Malawi has set a new cholera record, with cumulative cases jumping to 33,600 as at January 29 2023. Previously, the worst-case scenario of 33,000 was recorded in 2002.

In a statement released on January 30 2023, the British High Commission to Malawi says the contribution has been made because the cholera outbreak is “posing a significant threat to the already fragile health and water and sanitation systems” in Malawi.

It says, combined with match-funding from Germany’s KfW, over K1 billion will be channeled through the Health Services Joint Fund to support the Malawi Government treat patients and contain the current outbreak.

The UK indicates that United Nations partners, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) will support the implementation of the efforts.

“In addition to the UK’s contribution through the Health Services Joint Fund, the UK is pleased to provide additional technical support to the WHO through our contribution to the Standby Partnership network. This technical support will deploy a water and sanitation expert to Lilongwe for three months, from January 2023, and the deployment of the UK Emergency Medical Team to provide hands-on expert clinical support and capacity building of local healthcare workers,” the UK government says.

The UK is also a major donor to the humanitarian Start Fund, which has also contributed to cholera response efforts by providing £246,062 to support cholera work in refugee camps through the non-governmental organisation Welthungerhilfe.

Meanwhile, British High Commission Development Director Olympia Wereko- Brobby has called for collaboration in the fight against cholera.

“The surge in cholera cases across Malawi is a cause for great concern. The rainy season is far from over and, to prevent a significant loss of life, we must all come together and act now. The UK is pleased to provide this support so that the Ministry of Health and our UN partners can quickly expand the high priority interventions that limit the spread and reduce cholera deaths,” the director said.

Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has since welcomed the UK’s move.

“This current outbreak is posing an unprecedented threat to lives of people and to the health system. The support from our longstanding development partners will enable us to achieve objectives of our integrated cholera response plan to avoid further loss of life and more disruptions to education and other economic activities,” she said.

The funding will cover priority areas such as improving management of cholera patients by providing surge capacity to cholera treatment units, establishment of community oral rehydration points, provision of urgent cholera supplies, strengthening measures to prevent the spread of cholera, rapid water testing, repair and treatment of boreholes.

By Brenda Kayo

Acting Director for the Malawi School of Government (MSG) Jessie Kabwila says there is a need for Malawians to embrace the institution’s newly introduced cyber security course.

Kabwila made the remarks on Friday during an MSG open day in Lilongwe.

“The courses can promote capacity building for students, which would help the country achieve some of Malawi 2063 goals. The course will equip students with technology skills in designing, implementation, management and security that can be used to counter cyber security risks because every country needs to be secure online,” she said.

One of the students, Eveness Chiwaya, commended the school for introducing the course.

According to MSG, the course will offer certificates at levels 4, 5 and 6.

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