570,000 Malawian children at risk of developing life-threatening illnesses

A child being vaccinated (c) MHEN

The Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) has expressed concern that about 9.5 billion kwacha worth vaccine will get damaged due to the power outages that have not spared the National Cold Rooms, where vaccines are being kept.

MHEN Board Chairperson, Henry Chitukwi expressed the worry during a stakeholders interface meeting MHEN organized in Lilongwe.

He disclosed that about K9 million is currently required to service a generator for the running of the facility against the allocated K1 million which has already been used.

Chitukwi however described the use of a generator at the facility as unsustainable and costly.

“The generator that we are talking about is not a long term solution. There is a high risk of high maintenance costs and even the procurement of fuels that is also where resources are misused,” he said.

Chitukwi further warned that if the current state remains unchecked, this will translate to about 570,000 children not being vaccinated hence, putting their lives at risk of contracting life threatening illnesses.

“Everyone is supposed to get vaccinated before being grown up so government should provide electricity at the National Cold Rooms,”Chitukwi added.

He said they will engage government to find a lasting solution to the problem.

He said: “We will engage government so that maybe a new electricity line can be installed from the State Lodge which is close to the Cold Room to save lives of Malawians and funds.”

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