Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has demanded President Lazarus Chakwera to immediately remove Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda over the Cholera outbreak which has claimed 410 of lives and has affected all the country’s districts.
CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa made the statement on Tuesday at a press briefing which was conducted in Lilongwe.
Namiwa said that losing as many as 21 lives to Cholera in a couple of days is unheard of in this country, and only government can explain why in this time and age Cholera should be such a menace and despite putting aside K20 Billion to fight against the epidemic.
He noted that the availability of that money and its proper use would have improved the situation on the ground because millions of Malawians are at risk of death because government has been reactive, instead of being proactive by providing Heath facilities with Cholera kits comprising IV fluids and chlorine among other resources needed to fight this disease.
“What is more disturbing is that as the death toll to the epidemic increases nationwide, government still seems clueless at its approach to contain the disease.This is manifested in the current shortage of Cholera medicines and medical supplies in public health facilities.
“We are particularly concerned that much as Cholera is a water-borne disease , the current epidemic has been exacerbated by the general shortage of food in the country, as people are eating anything available to survive. And it is our considered view that unless something tangible is done, in this rainy season which is just setting in, this epidemic is going to claim more lives,” he explained.
He then asked the Parliamentary Committee on Health to ensure that the money the president said was available to fight against the epidemic is properly accounted for.
“And the committee should also ensure that government sets up a specific fund to contain the Cholera,” he said.
He also asked government to ensure that Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) has adequate stocks of Cholera Kits and also water should be available in the public hospitals in this era of Cholera.
Commenting on the issue of prayers, Namiwa said President Chakwera should be reminded that God helps those that help themselves first so calling for prayers alone is not enough and instead there should be urgent need for tangible action.
The Cholera outbreak started in March this year in Machinga and has spread to all districts in Malawi with over 10,000 people being infected. The disease has killed 410 people with 180 deaths occuring over the past two weeks.
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