Malawi Red Cross Society facing MK2.9bn deficit in Covid-19 response plan

The Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) says it is facing a MK2.9 billion deficit in its coronavirus disease (Covid-19) level 3 response plan, which, among other things, seeks to assist the government to conduct a successful vaccination programme currently frustrated by myths and misconceptions.

MRCS Secretary General, McBain Kanongodza, disclosed this on Friday in Dowa during a one-day media orientation workshop on Covid-19 vaccination reporting, which MRCS organized in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Population.

McBain Kanongodza addressing

The response plan, according to Kanongodza, includes mass awareness campaign aimed at disseminating the right messages to deal with myths and misconceptions surrounding the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination.

He said the entire budget for the plan is MK5.4 billion and that MRCS managed to raise MK2.5 billion only.

Kanongodza appealed to the donor community to bail them out with the MK2.9 billion deficit to enable MRCS successfully help with addressing the “devastating” third wave of Covid-19, saying the organization has “a good track record” in managing covid funds since its involvement in the fight against the pandemic.

“The myths and misconceptions, which are viral, are restraining a lot of people from doing the right things or behaviour in times like this. This impacts negatively on the good efforts that are being done in fighting the pandemic. It certainly results in wasting time and resources and scares away donors,” Kanongodza said.

According to Kanongodza, some of the myths and misconceptions that are misleading people not to get Covid-19 vaccines include, among others; that they will no longer bear children and will die in two years.

He said the media orientation workshop was aimed at equipping journalists with knowledge and best practice reporting in dealing with these myths and misconceptions surrounding the Covid-19 vaccination, which is underway in Malawi.

Kanongodza hailed the workshop, saying the media “is one of the best ways through which to correct the false rumour mongering about the vaccines and Covid-19 itself”.

Deputy Director of Preventive Health Services responsible for expanded programme on immunization in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Mike Chisema, concurred with Kanongodza, adding that Malawi requires concerted efforts of various stakeholders in order to achieve set targets of Covid-19 vaccination.

“Journalists are crucial in information sharing since it is their area of specialization. They need to deliver to people the right information so that they act responsibly against false myths and misconceptions circulating out there,” Chisema said.

Malawi, which, cumulatively, has recorded 57,620 cases including 1,941 deaths since the Covid-19 pandemic was declared, targets to vaccinate 10 million people.

However, a statement issued on Friday night by the Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, says only 705,815 vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far.

“Cumulatively 463,848 and 159,229 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine, respectively. 83,098 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Over the past 24 hours, 23,078 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Cumulatively, 242,327 people are fully vaccinated,” the statement reads in part.

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nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
2 years ago

pano osamabweresa nkhani zoti ciyambi cake ndiinu nomwe hetini,
mukudabwa mfuu wanu omwe.
tyeni uko

2 years ago

This is the best way to go our Red Cross. In fact, when you look at the general out put the NGOs versus the government, these NGOs surpass with a very big margin with what our government is doing. This government is just useless. The government cannot even release funds to support the RC, why, nobody knows. These guys are doing a lot on the ground and yet the government pretends there is nothing. I concur with Banda, spending monies on useless things and yet people are suffering. We will punish you when it comes to voting, consider yourselves out.

2 years ago

Lets get this right Red Cross needs 2.9 Billion to implement Covid response,yet Government spends 2 Billion on VIp cars for a 10 day conference plus another 2 Billion to host the conference. Yet Donor monies of 6.2 Billion and 17.6 Billion for the Covid fight has been misappropriated without anyone held accountable. If Malawi cannot make best use of Donors monies why do they expect Donors to continue to assist the country.

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