Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights organisation White Ribbon Alliance has called on authorities to focus on supporting the health sector especially sexual, maternal, newborn and adolescent health as they respond towards the Cyclone Freddy disaster.
Board chairperson for the organisation, Karl Chokotho made the call in Blantyre when he handed over ten gas cylinders worth K1 million to the Ministry of Health.
He observed that provision of such services has been negatively affected due to the cyclone.
The cylinders are expected to provide energy for sterilisation of equipment, especially delivery packs at selected five health centers, each in Nsanje and Phalombe districts.
He said: “The cyclone has impacted health facility infrastructure, drugs, equipment and supplies, road connectivity, water and electricity. All these are crippling the access to quality SRHR services.
“Sterilisation of medical equipment has been prioritised as one of the major challenges affecting peripheral facilities in these districts.”
He said continuity of quality and dignified care for pregnant and postpartum women has been cut off with medical documents and routine drugs washed away by the waters.
Chief pharmacist in the Ministry of Health Charles Chimenya hailed the donation calling for more support in maternal health especially to the displaced.
“In Phalombe and Nsanje, a number of health centres were submerged and a lot of equipment and medical supplies were damaged, government alone cannot afford to replace everything,” said Chimenya.
White Ribbon Alliance is also providing technical support through the established SRHR sub-cluster and other health technical working groups.
Health facilities in the affected districts are in need of baby towels, hospital linen,health passport books, energy for sterilisation of equipment, delivery packs, mosquito nets, bed-screens and fuel for referrals among others.