Members of Parliament (MPs) on Wednesday took to task Minister of Health Jappie Mhango to outline strategies Malawi has put in place to prevent the spread of Ebola in the country.
The legislators observed that Malawi has 32 000 refugees with some tracing their roots to Ebola-hit countries; hence, they expressed worry that not much work is being seen to be done on the ground.
The MPs’ concern also comes at a time when the World Health Organisation (WHO) compelled African nations to outline stringent measures aimed at preventing further outbreak of the deadly disease within the continent.
But in his response, Mhango said government put a number of measures since reports about Ebola resurfacing, notably in Uganda, emerged a month ago.
He said: “The ministry is implementing a number of activities to prevent the disease from spreading into the country. We are currently conducting health cluster meetings and we have also developed the Ebola action plan…”
Dedza North MP Savel Kafwafwa asked: “We have our soldiers in DRC working in the vicinity where outbreaks are. What are the practical issues to make sure those travelling from that side are screened.”
Interim leader of opposition in Parliament, Lobin Lowe, warned government not to lose focus in the fight against cholera which has also affected thousands of people in the country.
Besides hosting refugees from countries such as Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi also deploys soldiers to United Nations peace-keeping missions in the DRC, one of the countries which frequently records Ebola cases Ebola affected over 28 000 people in more than 21 months since the first case was confirmed and recorded on March 23 2014. 11 315 people were reported dead from the disease in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria.