In January 2022, Cyclone Ana ravaged many southern Malawi districts. In Neno, a district with about 150,000 people, and Chikwawa, a district with over 500,000 people, many households were affected with loss to lives, crops, livestock’s and property. Since 2007, Partners In Health (PIH) has employed an all-inclusive approach in its mission of “Providing a preferential option for the poor in health care”. We document the PIH short and long term support during the recent cyclone Ana in Malawi.
Firstly, PIH provided technical support to the Ministry of Health (MOH) by participating in emergency operation center activities supporting MOH on areas that need to be included in national disaster response plans. At district level, PIH supported the district councils to ensure they convened district level meetings to plan the response to cyclone Ana.
Secondly, PIH supported provision of medical care for people living in camps. In Neno, we supported the set-up and provision of care in five camps. For Chikwawa district, we reached out to 15,700 people who were living in camps with medical care. Finally, we supported 9,674 people and 9,080 in Chikwawa and Neno respectively with immediate relief items like food (mainly maize), household items and construction materials. Currently, we have identified 43 households who completely lost their houses and have started providing housing support to these households.
Climate related changes are becoming common and raise health concerns in Malawi, hence the need for multi-sectoral stakeholder involvement. Therefore, health and welfare organizations should adapt to these changes and build appropriate collaborative response mechanisms.