By Iommie Chiwalo
While the needs for flood survivors are too numerous, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has intensified collective efforts in expanding mobile clinics.
The exercise is happening in different camps stationed in Nsanje and Chikwawa district where the exercise is just part of fulfilment of a joint programs between UNFPA, Malawi government and other development partners in the areas of HIV prevention, response to gender based violence and data management and utilisation and the implementation of the roadmap on maternal and neonatal mortality reduction.
During the recent visit in Chikwawa at Fombe ADMARC camp which is also known as Mthumba camp, the UNFPA Deputy Representative, Masaki Watabe where he went to appreciate the impact of the agency’s work in the ongoing humanitarian response, he said UNFPA is supporting Chikwawa district to expand mobile health services to the camps, ensuring women and girls have access to sexual reproductive health services, and improving protection to safeguard women and girls from gender based violence in the camps.
He said the facilitation of mobile health services where people are able to get HIV testing, aquire family planning methods is part of UNFPA’s mandate of ensuring integration of evidence-based analysis on population dynamics and their links to sustainable development, sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, HIV and gender equality.
Chikwawa is one of the districts, which was hit by tropical storm #Ana, and recently by tropical cyclone #Gombe.
Under the UNFPA Safeguard Young People Programme project, the agency also thought it wise to donate solar lamps to the adolescent girls and pregnant mothers in addition to dignity kits.
Watabe said that UNFPA is very committed to address health and protection related concerns with the available resources, and with support from other development partners.
“So far, we have supported a number of camps with relief items such as dignity kits, and solar lamps to ensure a safer environment for the survivors,” he said.
Chairperson person for the camp Rodrick Malenga speaking on behalf of the survivors was all grateful for the assistance from UNFPA saying it was timely.
Malenga said apart from the lamps, the mobile health services are enabling the displaced people to access timely medical assistance.
At Fombe ADMARC camp/ Mthumba camp there are 250 households in which translates to 1630 people. There are 1010 females of whom 110 are lactating women, 43 pregnant women and 138 under five children, 146 below 18 years old and 83 people between the ages of 18 and 35.
UNFPA delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. It also participates in Sector Wide Approaches (SWAps) on health, gender and youth.