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WHO donates MK62.2m PEDSAM kits to Malawi government

World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday donated to Malawi government 48 kits of paediatric severe acute malnutrition (PEDSAM) worth MK62.2m to address the challenges posed by paediatric severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in the country.

WHO Country Representative to Malawi, Dr. Neema Rusibamayila Kimambo, made the donation through the Ministry of Health at a ceremony held at Capital Hill, Lilongwe.

Kimambo described the donation as “a crucial contribution to Malawi’s healthcare system, particularly in addressing the effects of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in children in the country.

She said the PEDSAM Kits are meticulously designed to provide essential supplies necessary for the effective treatment and care of children suffering from malnutrition, as well as malaria.

“Enclosed within each kit are vital resources aimed at reaching 50 SAM pediatric cases for three months,” said Kimambo, and she continued: “This provision ensures a sustained effort in combating malnutrition among our nation’s children, reflecting our commitment to their well-being.”

The WHO Country Reprfesentative to Malawi disclosed the total procurement cost of the donation as US$35,560.56, which translates to approximately MK62,230,980.00.

Kimambo (3rd L) and Kandodo Chiponda (3rd R) in symbolic hand over of the donation Pic. By Kondwani Magombo _ Mana

“This investment underscores our dedication to improving public health outcomes and ensuring access to essential healthcare resources for all Malawians,” said Kimambo, adding: “As we navigate through the challenges posed by the lean season, WHO is fully committed to facilitating the swift delivery and utilisation of these kits to the designated healthcare facilities across the country.”

In her acceptance speech, Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, hailed WHO for the donation, which she described as “timely and very useful for Malawi”.

The minister said the country continues to struggle with a high infant mortality rate and that, of late, there has been progressive reduction owing to Government’s collaboration with development partners.

“The current infant mortality rate for Malawi in 2024 is 31 deaths per 1000 live births, a 4.2 percent decline from 2023; The infant mortality rate for Malawi in 2023 was 33 deaths per 1000 live births, a 5.1 percent decline from 2022,” explained Chiponda.

She noted that cases of severe malnutrition and malaria in children in Malawi highly contribute to the reported high infant mortality rates with malnutrition alone, accounting for at least 30 percent of the deaths.

She, therefore, said any efforts to stop the rise of the infant mortality rate, as WHO has done, is commendable and encouraged to save the lives of the children and the future leaders of Malawi.

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