Minister impressed with councils on tackling Covid-19

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ben Phiri has hailed the relationship that exists between the district council and partners in preventing further spread of Coronavirus.

Minister Ben Phiri addressing health workers in Kasungu

The minister, who is in the special Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 on Tuesday visited Kasungu District to appreciate the state of preparedness for COVID-19 prevention and management.

Speaking in the district, Phiri said though there was still room for improvement; he was satisfied with the efforts the council and the partners have made.

He said Kasungu District has been impressive in that the fight has not been left to government alone but other partners have also come in.

“From central government, we rely on district councils, so I came to check if the council is prepared and also to know if it needs further support,

“I am impressed with Kasungu as the fight to stop the spread of Coronavirus is being collectively done by government and other partners.

“I am, therefore, asking other partners who have not joined the fight against the virus to join the band wagon,” said the minister.

In the district, apart from partners like Plan International, Care Malawi and Wateraid, there are also traditional leaders, Members of Parliament and Councillors who are playing different roles.

Plan International and Care Malawi have and are still supporting trainings of health workers while Wateraid provided hand washing facilities. Plan is also supporting community sensitisation in the district.

The minister also had a chance to interact with health workers who were undergoing a training on COVID-19 and assured participants that government would do all it can to support them.

“If we have to save Kasungu from this virus, it has to be you. Government will make sure that you are supported in the best way that it can.

“We will make sure there is Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) available to you,” said Phiri.

The minister also had a chance to visit Kasungu main market where he assured those plying their trade that the facility will have hand washing facilities and bins.

Director of Health and Social Services, Dr Emmanuel Golombe said the district would ensure that  the Coronavirus is not spread in the district.

Dr Golombe said the different committees that are in the district and have membership from different stakeholders are very crucial in the fight of Coronavirus.

There is Public Health Emergency Management Committee (PHEMC), District Rapid Response Team (DRRT) and District Civil Protection Committee (DCPC).

He said in collaboration with these committees and other partners, the district health office has put up some interventions to curb the spread of the virus.

“Currently, health workers have been trained on COVID-19 management; we have intensified hand washing in all facilities;  there is on going public awareness and we have provided [phone] numbers of health workers to the public for easy reporting of suspected COVID-19 cases,” he said.

Dr Golombe also said they are doing surveillance of suspected cases in the district by following up on those who were outside the country and have come to the district.

During the minister’s visit, Plan International handed over 4,000 posters to Kasungu District Health Office.

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