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Minister commends DEHOs for fighting health crises

Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has expressed satisfaction with the roles played by District Environmental Health Officers (DEHOs) across the country in fighting health crises through various interventions.

Speaking during the closing session of the DEHOs quarterly review meeting at Sun and Sand Hotel in Mangochi on Friday, Chiponda said although Malawi has, for the past months, been hit with several health crises such as COVID-19, Polio as well as Cholera, the country has managed to bounce back due to collaboration between government and partners as well as hard work of health workers. 

“As a ministry, we are grateful to our DEHOs for the work they have been doing in the country, especially in times of crises. I urge all health personnel to focus more on preventive health because there are so many diseases that we can get rid of due to prevention.

“For instance, I can mention of Cholera. We can say that, as a country, we have almost contained the outbreak. However, we still have few cases in the Lower Shire. As such, this is the time when we need to do more promotion on preventive measures especially on issues of sanitation and hygiene,” said the Minister. 

Chiponda commended United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) for supporting most of the campaigns by her ministry in the fight against health crises. 

The minister disclosed that the country will have a second round of Presidential Tithetse Cholera Campaign in September, 2023 in order to remind communities on the need to continue practicing precaution measures against Cholera before the start of the next rainfall season. 

Chiponda: DEHOs are vital in the fight against health crises. Photograph by Bishop Witmos-Mana

Chiponda said UNICEF has already committed to supporting Malawi in the campaign. 

Currently, Malawi is still registering cases of Cholera, especially in some eight districts of the Southern Region.

According DEHO President, Dr Kondwani Mamba, Chikwawa district is currently reporting high number of Cholera registering six to 11 cases per day followed by Nsanje and Blantyre.  

Mamba highlighted challenges such as access to safe water for those farming along the shire river, poor sanitation amongst community members who have relocated from displaced camps as well as resistance to behavioural change by communities as some of the factors that fueling further spread of Cholera in the region.  

As of June 29, 2023, Malawi cumulatively registered 58,908 Cholera cases, with 1,763 deaths. 

During the meeting, DEHOs also presented an award of a trophy to the Minister for her efforts in supporting preventive health services. 

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