MALAWI – The United Kingdom (UK) has committed over K600 million (US$0.59m) towards Malawi’s cholera emergency response as the country is currently experiencing its worst cholera outbreak ever recorded.

As of 29 January, the total number of cases has accelerated to over 33,608 while the total deaths stand at 1,093 deaths since its onset in March last year.

A statement from the British High Commission in Lilongwe takes cognizance that the outbreak is posing a significant threat to the already fragile health and water and sanitation systems.

Together with match funding from Germany’s KfW, over K1 billion (US$0.98m) will be channelled through the Health Services Joint Fund to support the Malawi Government treat patients and contain the current outbreak, says the statement.

It adds that United Nations (UN) partners, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, will support the implementation of these efforts.

In addition to the UK’s contribution through the Health Services Joint Fund, the statement says the UK Government is pleased to be able to provide additional technical support to the WHO through its contribution to the Standby Partnership network.

“This technical support will deploy a water and sanitation expert to Lilongwe for 3 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 health care workers,” said part of the statement.

“The UK is also a major donor to the humanitarian Start Fund, which has also responded, providing £246,062 (US$303,113) to support cholera work in refugee camps through the non-governmental organisation Welthungerhilfe.”

The statement further quoted Development Director Olympia Wereko-Brobby as saying: “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 be able 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.”

In her vote of thanks, the Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said the “outbreak is posing an unprecedented threat to lives of people and to the health system [and] 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”.

The funding will cover priority areas such as improving the management of cholera patients by providing surge capacity to cholera treatment units, the 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, among others.

Korea to provide US$200,000 to Malawi

Meanwhile, the government of the Republic of Korea will provide US$200,000 in humanitarian aid to the Republic of Malawi, where the spread of cholera has caused a large number of deaths and illnesses.

The ROK government will continue to participate in the efforts of the international community to prevent the spread of infectious diseases

The ROK government hopes that the humanitarian aid to Malawi would ease the health crisis in Malawi, and help the people of Malawi facing difficulties due to the spread of cholera.

The ROK government will continue to participate in the efforts of the international community to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

For all the latest healthcare industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, and YouTube Channel, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook.