Music has been used to champion causes across the globe with one such example being Music against Malaria Festival slated for October 26 at College of Medicine in Blantyre.
Music maestro Lulu who recently launched his ‘Better In Your Arms’ album in Lilongwe is expected to give his usual captivating performance at the festival, the first of its kind for the disease.
Another headline act is the Karonga-based group Lusubilo Band. Both Lulu and Lusubilo have confirmed of their participation to support the cause achieve its intended goal of raising money to fight Malaria.
Other artists billed to perform at the festivities which will start from 6 o’clock in the evening to midnight include the seasoned Agorosso, Waliko Makhala, Daughters Band.
The long lists also include Chichiri Cultural Troupe, Eunice Kadzuwa Mhango, Wyndham Chechamba, Kasambwe Brothers, Dikamawoko Cultural Troupe, Goma Nyondo, Jacaranda Cultural Troupe, Kefasi and Felix Jere.
Event organisers Code Sangala and British musician Annemarie Quinn have indicated the proceeds of the festival pegged at K15,000 advance tickets and K20,000 at the door will go to help the district hospital in Chikwawa specifically the paediatric ward to deal with the shortfalls they face.
Chikwawa is one of the districts which is heavily infested with mosquitoes, the agent that transmits the disease. According to Ministry of Health (MOH) It is the leading cause of deaths especially in children under five years of age and pregnant women.
Together with the Chikwawa District Health Officer responsible for the hospital, MAM conducted a needs assessment and determined that the hospital has immediate needs as well as a longer term vision including infrastructure development and refurbishment. The immediate needs include equipment that will provide the medical team with the basic supplies that they require to provide care to the pediatric patients.
This equipment includes, but is not limited to, patient trolleys, that will facilitate the movement of the children from the outpatient department(OPD) to admission room. Currently, these sick children are carried in the arms of their guardians.
Health Management Information System (HMIS) report said malaria accounts for about 34 percent of all outpatient visits and 18 percent of all hospital deaths. Malaria continues to be a major public health problem with an estimated 6 million cases occurring annually.
It is also a major contributor to the poor health indicators in Malawi with an estimated large proportion of Malawi’s workforce loses about 15-25 days a year due to malaria with families spending about 28% of their yearly income to treat malaria.