Malawi Vice President Launches the 2013 SADC Malaria Day

Daniso Mbewe, the Knowledge and Information Management Officer of SARN has shared with us a Press Release from the Southern African Regional Network Secretariat (SARN) of the RBM Partnership in Southern Africa. The commemoration was held under the THEME: “Be free of Malaria in SADC Region”

Vice President of Malawi SADC Malaria Day 2013 smSALIMA, MALAWI,  08 November, 2013: The Vice President of Malawi, Rt. Hon. Khumbo Hastings Kachali, launched the 2013 SADC Malaria Day Events in the malaria endemic Lake Malawi town of Salima. The events were attended by Health Ministers and senior health officers and national malaria managers from SADC countries (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, Zambia and Zimbabwe, SADC Secretariat, SARN Secretariat, USAID, the uniformed Forces (military/police), RBM partners, provincial, district and local political, religious and traditional leaders, communities and school children.

The presence of traditional dance troops, dreamers, actors (drama troops) and school children made the event colorful and highly entertaining. Of special mention is Illovo Sugar a member of the SARN private sector constituency which donated 1 million Malawi Kwacha for the event and provided a demonstration of the T3, IRS, LLINs, IPTP and BCC/IEC.

Senior Chief Kalonga thanked SADC and the Malawi government for bringing the event to his region because Salima has a lot of malaria which is impacting on development especially workers, school children, pregnant women, teachers and fishermen. He thanked the National Malaria Control Program for distributing LLINs and other interventions which are on-going in his region.

Malawi Minister, Hon. Catherine Gotani Hara – emphasized the need to continue protecting the women and that they should attend ANCs and demand for malaria protection while encouraging all members of the family and community to report early for treatment. She thanked the RBM and partners for the continued support and technical guidance from  the WHO.

The Rt. Hon Khumbo Hastings Kachali, the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, a former Minister of Health said that he was informed that there is now a trend showing a decrease in cases and deaths in Salima and he would like to see this replicated nationally. He however, warned the communities that this could be derailed by those people who use nets for fishing (Salima is a fishing community), sell nets, do not sleep under nets, do not complete theiSADC Malaria Day 2013r treatment and women who refuse to take IPTp. By 2015 he said  “Malawi should have distributed over 10 million LLINs” much to the applaud of the participants.

The Vice President thanked SADC Member States and all those who attended and that this level of collaboration, interaction and information sharing should continue to blossom. He further emphasized that the attainment of the MDGs is a priority for all SADC countries and as the SADC chair, Malawi will continue to encourage countries and also to appraise the Heads of States on progress made and challenges the Ministries of Health are facing especially domestic funding, health infrastructure, equipment, shortage of human resources and skill levels.

The main outcome was high and community levels advocacy, SARN-RBM visibility, regional collaboration and community education via several drama/plays with malaria themes and messages.

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