The United Kingdom has committed £500,000 (over K600,000,000) towards Malawi’s cholera emergency response, saying it is concerned with the rise in cholera cases in the country.
Together with similar match funding from Germany’s KfW, over K1bn will be channelled through the Health Services Joint Fund to support the Malawi Government treat patients and contain the current outbreak.
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 spread of cholera, rapid water testing, repair and treatment of boreholes, among others.
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 UK will 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 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.
The UK is also a major donor to the humanitarian Start Fund, which has also responded, providing £246,062 (about K315 million) to support cholera work in refugee camps through the non-governmental organisation Welthungerhilfe.
Development Director at the British High Commission, Olympia Wereko-Brobby, said: “The surge in cholera cases across Malawi is a cause for great concern. 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.”
Minister of Health in Malawi Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said the 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 achieve objectives of our integrated Cholera response plan to avoid further loss of life and more disruptions to education and other economic activities,” the minister said.
Malawi is currently experiencing its worst cholera outbreak ever recorded. As of 30 January 2023, the total number of cases has accelerated to over 34,355. The total deaths stands at 1,108 since March 2022 when the first cases were reported. This outbreak is also posing a significant threat to the already fragile health and water and sanitation systems.
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