Karonga at risk: Malawi NGO’s urged to help preventing Ebola

Non Governmental Organizations in Malawi’s Northern boarder district of Karonga have been urged to take part in helping the government on strategies of preventing Ebola virus from spreading into the district.

Speaking during District Executive Committee meeting on Ebola on Friday, the District Commissioner Rosemary Moyo said Karonga is at great risk of  the virus due to influx of illegal immigrants into the district.

“It is not good that we should be pointing figures on what the government is doing to avoid the spread of the virus. We need NGOs to help us sensitize the community on Ebola and the dangers of helping these illegal immigrants into the country,” he said.

A doctor displays collected samples of the Ebola virus

A doctor displays collected samples of the Ebola virus

District Police Officer in Charge Foster Mangani concurred with the District Commissioner saying Government has limited resources to fight virus.

“Karonga is at risk of Ebola virus because of illegal immigrants which enter in our district often but as people who are in the district we need to be patriotic with our district by helping the police tighten the security,” he said.

Station Officer of police in the district Almakio Daka also said: “As Karonga police we know the routes these illegal immigrants use to enter Karonga but because we have limited resources we can not do the patrols often.”

He said the police need speed boat to make patrols on the lake “but we don’t have them, so it is our concern too bearing in mind that healthy personell are only screening people entering through the boarder,” said Daka.

According to Daka some of unchartered routes that illegal immigrants use are Ngana Songwe boarder side, Timoti village along Songwe river side, Iponga and Chikutu village which are in the district.

Meanwhile, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation District Coordinator Grecian Mbewe said NGOs depend on donors for funds which will be more difficult for them because of donor fatigue.

“Preventing Ebola is really a battle for all of us but as NGOs we also depend on donors for funds we can not promise now that we can provide something but we are willing to help sensitize the community on the virus when doing other projects,” he said.

He said it is the duty of police to tighten the security to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country.

However, the District Healthy Officer Charles Sungani urged people not to panic.

“We are just on alert, there is no need for us to panic or to be afraid with the situation because as healthy department we have started monitoring the disease at songwe boarder screening everyone entering the country,” Sungani said.

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