Survivors of the Tropical Cyclone Freddy sheltered at Bangula ADMARC in Nsanje have commended United Nations (UN) agencies in Malawi for mobilising and providing a robust healthcare support to them for nine they have been in the camp.
Chairperson of the Camp Management Committee, Stella Davie, said the temporary health facility UN agencies helped to establish at the camp has proven to be the most reliable in service provision and is always stocked with essential drugs.
She was speaking on Monday when UN Resident Coordinator, Rebecca Ada-Dontoh, visited the camp to appreciate the impact of the support UN agencies have been providing to the survivors since March 2023 when the cyclone hit the area.
Davie disclosed that the temporary clinic had become a monument of quality healthcare service in the district.
“This facility has become a one-stop centre for not only the survivors, but even others who are coming from the surrounding villagers. It provides almost all the services, including maternal and neonatal care, sexual and reproductive health and general outpatient treatment,” said Davie.
Senior Group Village Head (SGVH) Kalonga concurred, stressing that his subjects no longer walk long distances to access healthcare service.
But Kalonga expressed fear that authorities would demolish the structure and close the clinic after the decommissioning of the camp.
The traditional leader, therefore, pleaded with the UN to convince the Government of Malawi to spare the clinic and even consider upgrading it to a rural hospital.
“This clinic is strategically positioned to serve communities surrounding this area. These are communities from Traditional Authorities Mbenje and Mlolo,” he said.
Senior Health Surveillance Assistant for the area, Adzafunika Alfazema, said the clinic has not registered any cholera cases, thanks to the medical supplies UN agencies have been supplying to the facility.
In her remarks, Ada-Dontoh said she was happy with the level of openness and honesty in the way the survivors articulated the social and economic challenges weighing down on their lives since the disaster hit.
She said one of the objectives of the visit was to listen to voices of the survivors, which she said is critical in their programming.
Ada-Dontoh also took advantage of the engagement to challenge UN agencies and the Malawi Government to adopt a demand-driven response to cyclone survivors, stressing that this is critical to ensuring that the survivors are receiving optimal support while in and out of the camps.