The Government of Japan has committed to provide US$1, 388, 363 (approximately K1.1 billion) towards implementation of the project that aims to increase access to Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPEs) in Malawi.
The project will be implemented under the Japanese Supplementary Budget and it is titled: “Increasing Covid-19 PPE Access in Malawi (Japan – Malawi Partnership).”
According to the agreement, the Government of Japan will provide the funding through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which will implement the project in partnership with five public universities and the private sector in Malawi.
Speaking at the grant award ceremony, which took place in Lilongwe on Wednesday, the Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Satoshi Iwakiri, said the use of PPEs such as wearing of facemasks, handwashing, and sanitizing are a ‘new normal’ accepted by the public as Covid-19 control measures.
Iwakiri said UNDP will thus collaborate with universities and the private sector in domestic manufacturing of PPEs and other Covid-19 supplies.
“This project is expected to contribute to the economic growth of the Malawi. Furthermore, the project will strengthen Malawi’s capacity to become a regional supplier of anti-Covid-19 supplies in the near future,” he said.
The grand recipients of the fund are University of Malawi, Mzuzu University, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Malawi University of Science and Technology and the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the Government of Japan has provided support through the Economic Social Development Programme to supply medical equipment worth MK2.2 billion, Emergency Grant Aid in Improving Cold Chain in Africa amounting to MK574 million and Programme for Covid-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support amounting to K3 billion.
Speaking on behalf of the Malawi Government, the Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Population (Administration), Bestone Chisamile, thanked UNDP and Japan for their effort and commitment to Malawi’s agenda of promoting local industries and creating an environment that presents opportunities for innovation and local production of various products that include health commodities and is so doing promoting self-reliance.
Chisamile said the enthusiasm in young students in the different faculties was evidenced by the actual products displayed during the project launch and labelled “Made in Malawi”.
He thus emphasized that through this partnership, they share the passion to increase local capacity so that soon Malawi as a country can have a self-sustaining industry that creates jobs and wealth while at the same time, providing adequate materials for the effective management of pandemics such as Covid-19.
“I hope you, our partners, are as satisfied as we are and agree that we are indeed making progress. Malawi is full of potential, which has to be capitalised upon in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are motivated to show the rest of the world that not only are we going to survive this pandemic, but we shall thrive through it by harnessing innovations,” he said.
Chisamile reminded the grantees about the need to manufacture PPEs that comply with all regulatory standards to ensure quality and safety during use.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :