Malawi Parliamentary committees have now joined the vicious battle against coronavirus as the government engages parliament on the pandemic wrecking havoc both lives and economies of the world.
The parliamentary committees on Health, Media and Social and Community Affairs have joined forces in the fight against COVID-19 in an effort to increase the scope of Parliament’s oversight function.
The Committees held a joint press briefing on Friday in Lilongwe to bring the government’s attention to the isssues that the Committees have assessed over the past two weeks.
Chairperson for Parliamentary Committee on Health, Dr. Mathews Ngwale said his committee has proactively taken measures to support government efforts in fighting COVID-19.
He said the committee committee conducted a number of field visits to border posts, hospitals and a diagnostic testing centre to carry out oversight on the nation’s preparedness to fight COVID-19.
“During the field visit, the Committee learnt that while airports are closed for passengers, free movement of passengers in Mchinji and Mwanza districts poses a threat as these two borders does not have medical personnel to manage the suspected cases promptly,” said Hon. Ngwale.
On his part Chairperson for Parliamentary Committee on Media, Aboo McNice Naliwa lobbied government to increase efforts to sensitise the nation on government policies in the fight against COVID-19 adding that Members of Parliament are well placed to compliment such efforts.
On its part, the Social and Community Affairs Committee says it is concerned with the welfare of vulnerable groups such as women, children, the elderly and the disabled which are most likely to be negatively impacted during the pandemic.
“Our Parliamentary Committee is advocating for government to make sure that it puts in place measures that will prevent, manage and mitigate the socio-economic impact of COVID-19,” said Savel Kafwafwa, chairperson for Parliamentary Committee on Social and Community Affairs.
The three Committees have since appealed for assistance in their efforts to carry out their functions and ensure that the right information is disseminated to the public, that preventive measures are in place to reduce infections and ensuring that vulnerable groups are not forgotten.