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PHI calls for more collaboration on emergencies

Written by  McDonald Chiwayula

Public Health Institute of Malawi - PHI has called for increased coordination in public health preparedness to emergencies in the country.

Aerial view of floods in Malawi Aerial view of floods in Malawi MANA

Head of the Institute Mathew Kagoli was speaking at the end of a four day stakeholders conference on public health response and preparedness in Lilongwe.

Kagoli who is also Deputy Director in the Ministry of Health said despite Malawi doing better in emergency preparedness, there is need for further collaboration to achieve desired results.

“As Malawi Government we are always prepared, we have Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA)  but at the ministry level we are also prepared for these disasters. Every year we record sporadic cases of Cholera outbreak, these are emergencies but we prepare for them. For instance there’s a threat of Ebola spreading from DRC to Malawi, we have proper arrangements on the ground to ensure we put to a minimum the level of risk so it doesn’t get transmitted to Malawi. To achieve this we work in close cooperation with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) just to mitigate the problem. So we are well prepared for emergencies and will act accordingly when they occur,” said Kagoli.

On his part, Country Director for the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Malawi Andrew Odi, pledged more support towards emergency preparedness in the country.

He said, “The USA government through its many agencies will work in close collaboration with Malawi to ensure the country is well prepared for emergencies. The overall objective of the workshop is to strengthen partnerships on the ground so that the country can quickly respond to any emergency.”

Geographically the country lies along the East African Rift Valley which makes it prone to a number of natural disasters such as floods and outbreak of pests and diseases hence the need for strategic preparation.

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