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Health Minister of Malawi Speaks to FGFJ’s Diet Task Force on Climate and Health

April 20, 2024
Health Minister of Malawi Speaks to FGFJ’s Diet Task Force on Climate and Health

On April 18, FGFJ held its 38th Diet Task Force meeting featuring H.E. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, the Minister of Health of Malawi. The meeting was attended by twelve Diet members, joined by representatives from Malaria No More US and Malaria No More Japan who had invited the Health Minister for their April 17 event on “Pre-TICAD9 Summit on Climate Change and Health.” 

H.E. Chiponda gave powerful remarks on the impact climate change has on health in Malawi, where efforts are still underway to recover and rebuild from the recent cyclone damages. She explained infectious diseases are made worse by climate change, causing outbreaks of cholera and malaria, and how Malawi was taking countermeasures to mitigate the effects on health services. She emphasized the need for local manufacturing of vaccines to cover African countries so they could be more readily available where the needs are. She also mentioned how Japan no longer had cases of malaria since 1962, and if that was possible in Japan, it should be the case elsewhere, too.

On health system strengthening in Malawi, H.E. Chiponda explained how Malawi is now providing integrated health services, citing examples of vaccinations for children under 5, prenatal checkups for pregnant women, and responses to non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, as well as infectious diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria all being provided at the community level. However, securing human resources to provide these services is a challenge.

Hon. Chiponda expressed appreciation for Japan’s contribution through JICA and to its support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) which helped construct health posts and employ health personnel allowing for health services to be accessible at community levels. Hon. Chiponda’s briefing was followed by interactive discussions with participating Diet members on the various issues to be considered when strengthening health systems to combat the impacts of climate change.

The FGFJ Diet Task Force is a multi-party initiative that brings together Diet members to examine ways to broaden Japan’s international role in combating the global threats of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other communicable diseases. The task force convenes several times a year with experts and leaders from around the world. For more information, visit the FGFJ Diet Task Force page.