Lilongwe, Thursday, December 29, 2022
CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE IN CHOLERA FIGHT
The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), is deeply disturbed by revelations from its findings that in the wake of the unprecedented cholera outbreak, which is claiming scores of innocent lives every day, it is business-as-usual on the government side.
Actually, not even the bare minimum is being achieved in providing resources to treat cholera patients and, also, stop the spread of the outbreak.
Following concerns that guardians of cholera patients in some parts of the country are being asked to pay money for their patients to be treated or to buy cholera kits elsewhere, CDEDI has, actually, found out that, for this month, government has only bought 200 out of the required 1.2 million doses of IV fluids, especially Ringers Lactate used to treat cholera.
It is against this background that we hereby challenge government, especially the Ministry of Health to prove us wrong that it has neglected the cholera fight by organising an emergency tour of major health stakeholders, including the media, to appreciate the situation on the ground.
As far as we are concerned, government’s failure to provide resources to for fighting this outbreak is criminal negligence at its worst since the development has put in disarray the pillars of prevention and care in the fight against the outbreak. Nothing can be more worrying than the realisation that the death toll to cholera is increasing with each passing day, a sign that more lives are at risk.
Meanwhile, CDEDI maintains its call to President Lazarus Chakwera to immediately sack the Minister of Health, on one hand, and, also, call for an emergency high-level stakeholders meeting to scrutinise the cholera fight strategy, which is now clear that is offside to contain the outbreak.
In fact, we are dismayed as to when the President thinks will be the right time to admit that the outbreak, which he declared in March, and this month described as a ‘public health emergency’, has overwhelmed his government, and appeal from support donors.
Surely, as a country, we cannot afford to just sit back and watch this outbreak, which the World Health Organisation has described as the worst in a decade. We need help, and that help cannot come without us sounding the alarm.
CDEDI will, in due course, issue a statement detailing government’s carelessness in handling this health emergency.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (0993462700)