By Patricia Kapulula
Russian Federation Thursday donated assorted medical supplies and kits to Government to manage post effects of floods especially on the health of the people.
President Prof. Peter Mutharika declared a state of disaster early this year which left 15 districts affected by floods following Cyclone Idai.
The declaration of 15 districts as disaster areas triggered support from both local and international partners and this donation by the Russian Federation has been made in response to that call.
Minister of Health and Population, Jappie Mhango received the donation on behalf of the Government.
He said despite the floods being long gone but the effects of the floods are still with the people affected hence the need for such people to get assistance such as this.
Mhango hailed Russia for the donation saying it has come at a right time when the country would soon enter into the rainy season where disasters happen as such the drugs would be used for the post cyclone to help those people that are recovering from that disaster.
“It remains my Ministry’s responsibility to ensure that the flood affected people and Malawi as a whole have access to medicines for a healthy living. This donation has come at a right time when the Ministry is implementing various efforts to improve health of Malawians who were displaced by the floods,” he said.
The Minister said that the effects of Cyclone Idai are still there saying people are still experiencing effects of such disaster in the sense that they need food and medical care among others therefore such kind of assistance is needed at all times.
He assured the Russian Federation of Malawi government’s commitment in making every effort to ensure that the donation is used for the intended purpose and for those in need.
“The rainy season is here and we don’t know what will happen next. As such we need to take proper care of assistance such as this as it will help us in future should a similar disaster occur. We have always been ready for disasters such as these so that we reach out to those affected in good time,” Mhango added.
He said training of the health personnel is vital in ensuring provision of quality healthcare in the country.
“This has been very helpful to us because without properly trained cadres, we will not be able to provide quality care to our citizens. The training that we are continuously getting from Russian Federation is very important to the government,” he said.
Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Malawi, Illiyas Madiev was thankful to the World Health Organisation (WHO) whom he said helped to identify Malawi’s priority needs when it faced disaster.
He said the medical supplies and the kits would go towards necessary medical improvement in the flood affected districts.
WHO Country Representative, Nonhlanhla Rose Dlamini said now that the floods are over what Malawi needs to do as a country is to be in a state of preparedness in order for the country not to get shocks.
She said WHO has the guidance, technical documents that show step by step of how a country prepares in the event of a disaster and also recovery from such a disaster.
“We are prone to these climate change disasters but if there is preparedness on the actual disaster and how you recover from such devastating effects is important and that is how we are approaching it,” Dlamini said.
She said one of such preparedness is to ensure that supplies are in place and should countries such as Russia come forward they should find such stuff handy.
WHO stock pile for Africa is in Accra, Ghana and what is needed is for countries offering assistance to apply and it pay for those medicines and shipment.
Among the items donated include antibiotics, salt and sugar solution and equipment such as drip sets.
The Russian Federation has been supporting government in training medical personnel.