State vice-president Saulos Chilima on Wednesday held discussions with United Kingdom (UK) Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, who has since announced an additional £6 million (about K 5.3 Billion) to Malawi for scaling up the country’s coronavirus Covid-19) preparedness and response.
Chilima, who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, said on his Twitter handle that the meeting was productive.
“We discussed a number of areas of cooperation including Public Sector Reforms and how the two countries can work together to achieve faster economic growth,” tweeted Chilima.
The UK’s Minister of Africa later visited a warehouse facility for Covid-19 supplies in Kanengo, Lilongwe, which is managed by UNICEF Malawi and 14 Trees factory, both in Kanengo.
At Unicef Warehouse, the minister announced an additional K6 billion for the scaling up of Covid-19 Response in Malawi.
The package, through UNICEF, supports the Ministry of Health’s comprehensive Covid-19 plan to procure more supplies, enhance prevention measures as well as strengthen the capacity of health facilities to supply oxygen to those seriously affected.
Minister Duddridge said: “The UK has a longstanding record of supporting countries across the globe to prepare for disease outbreaks. COVID-19 presents the biggest public health emergency in a generation. With our new package of support, we will help strengthen Malawi Government’s response by doubling the number of communities that will be reached with public health surveillance, prevention and treatment services.
“To defeat this virus, it is up to all of us to avoid spreading it – especially by wearing a face covering when we are with other people and washing our hands frequently.”
Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda expressed gratitude to the Government of the United Kingdom for the timely and essential support to people of Malawi.
“The UK itself hasn’t been spared by the pandemic but they have extended a helping hand to Malawi. This is humanity at its best. You don’t have to be in the best position to offer help,” she said.
UNICEF Malawi Representative, Rudolf Schwenk said with UK Aid, UNICEF is developing a sustainable oxygen ecosystem which will benefit the Malawi population beyond the pandemic and much into the future.
“It is clear from the COVID-19 experience that a responsive and resilient health system is more important than ever. We look forward to greater collaboration with the UK Government in strengthening Malawi’s health system, for every child,” he said.
The new package is an addition to the £1.8m of UK aid that was provided earlier in March to support the setting up of the national testing lab, improve screening across nine districts, setting up of six emergency treatment units, training of 200 health workers, and procuring vital supplies as well as raising public awareness about the pandemic.
At 14 trees, the UK minister saw an example of an environmentally responsible business. 14 trees, which is supported by CDC group (cdcgroup.com), promotes sustainable construction methods.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :