Blantyre District Health Office is set to establish a Covid-19 press club which will act as a hub for factual information sharing with the media.
This was disclosed by Blantyre District Director of Health and Social Services, Dr. Gift Kawalazira during a media orientation on Covid-19 organised by Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust and The Polytechnic’s Department of Journalism and Media Studies.
Kawalazira said the district plans to hold press club meetings every Wednesday afternoon where journalists from all media houses will be updated on the disease.
“The aim of the press club is to disseminate and discuss facts about Covid-19. This forum will impart knowledge to journalists so that they are well equipped with information concerning the disease. We will also be updating the media on Coronavirus cases worldwide,” said Kawalazira.
In his remarks, Head of Department of Journalism and Media Studies at the Polytechnic, Jolly Ntaba emphasized on professionalism, clarity, balance and accuracy when reporting about the pandemic.
Ntaba, therefore, urged the journalists to report professionally instead of spreading false rumours circulating on social media.
“Information is power such that misinformation on Covid-19 is causing fear and anxiety among Malawians; hence, the worry of it being worse than the pandemic.
“Journalists have the privilege to know information more than others; hence, the need to seek clarification from credible sources before dissemination of Covid-19 information,” Ntaba said.
Meanwhile, Kawalazira said the health office is working in collaboration with Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital to set up an intensive care unit (ICU) where critically ill health workers will be admitted.
“The plan is that Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital will be getting 10 ventilators from the Ministry of Health, specifically for the Covid-19 response. Seven of them will be put at Queens to cater for the health workers that might need intensive care unit and three will be put at Kameza Isolation Centre for the general public.
“If we will have health workers that are mildly sick because they have been in contact with a case of Covid-19 and they require isolation to prevent transmission to their families, they will be accommodated at College of Medicine hostels where an isolation centre will be set up,” said Kawalazira.
He said for the general population, if there will be need for isolation in mild cases and in case of suspected contamination, institutions such as The Polytechnic, Malawi College of Health Sciences, Kamuzu College of Nursing as well as some secondary and primary schools will be used.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :