Malawi on track in managing and containing Covid-19 crisis

A novel coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak was first documented in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019 .Malawi  first 3 cases were identified from the 2 of April 2020 and the forth case on 4 April 2020 .The first index case arrived in the Malawi on 8th March 2020 from India through KIA Airport lilongwe the Capital City of Malawi and was followed up after the health system received an alert of a possible COVID-19 suspect by a household member of the index case.

Maziko Matemba

The  Ministry of Health (MoHP )through the Lilongwe District Health Office kept monitoring the situation until samples were collected and sent to the laboratory while the forth case was identified in Blantyre.

Currently Malawi as of 28 May 2020 Malawi has registered 273 from 4266 tests and four deaths conducted .On 20 March 2020, COVID-19 was declared a national disaster in Malawi by the State President Prof Peter Mutharika, and currently Malawi has 11 laboratories namely National Health Reference laboratory (NHRL) in Lilongwe, College of Medicine (COM) laboratory, and Malawi Liverpool Welcome Trust (MLW) in Blantyre, Mzuzu Central Hospital laboratory in Mzuzu, Nsanje, Queens, Zomba,Balaka,Mzimba,Thyolo,Dream Blantyre and Zomba Central Hospital hospital laboratory in Zomba.

The places within Malawi where the disease is spreading faster areas or the risk of catching COVID-19 is higher and these Hotspots areas are:Blantyre, Mchinji,Mulanje,Lilongwe,Dedza,Kasungu,Nkhatabay,Chikwawa,Nkhotakota,Zomba,Nsanje,Mwanza,Mzuzu,Mangochi,Chitipa and Karonga.

Looking at the Covid 19 response so far they are many  challenges that need to be resolved  despite some  efforts taking place in containing the Covid 19 response which needs learning and improvement in helping stopping the spread and death of patients well the rate of increase in the recent days requires critical review of the response by all the stakeholders including levels of wider stakeholder involvement from planning to implementation in filling the gaps in mind the Kamuzu stadium saga from people who came from South Africa is a case in point that need careful consideration .

Currently with the situation on Covid 19 response knowing that the Covid 19 budget is not fully funded ,increase in cases by the day and that also lapse in management in some areas Malawi is challenged  to be on track what is important and needed as urgent  is to  contain the spread ,improve the management including increasing infrastructure like institutional quarantine  from self quarantine and isolation facilities  not forgetting important area on community engagement on prevention as well as frontline health worker safety among others need improvement then can call it that we are on track.

  • About Maziko Matemba

He is Executive Director of Health and Rights Education Organization(HREP ) a Health Activist with wider experience in Malawi and Global on Public  Health architecture policy planning and implementation at community level and recent Community Health Ambassador .

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