Just after over two weeks when they responded to a call for help from College of Medicine in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, NICO Group — through NICO Life and NICO Pensions — have donated personal protective equipment (PPEs), worth K6m to University of Malawi (UNIMA) as the constituent colleges prepare for resumption of physical academic classes.
Learning institutions that were closed some six months ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are set to be reopened after the first week of September and UNIMA is making sure it is ready to follow the preventive guidelines set by the Ministry of Education & Technology.
But since they have over 1,000 members of staff, the UNIMA itself could not afford to meet some of the guidelines from its own resources and thus asked various stakeholders, including NICO Group to assist.
NICO Life and NICO Pensions have come in to provide 2,000 N95 masks; 2,000 general masks and 81 face shields.
UNIMA Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Al Mtenje commended NICO’s willingness to assist the entire UNIMA with the PPE’s, saying this will assist them to follow the guidelines which are necessary for staff and students to be safe and secure.
“As we await the resumption of face to face interactions with students in September, we need to be well prepared and this is a timely donation that complements what we have already made available through our resources such as procurement of hand sanitizers, soap and other necessary measures.
“Internally, the UNIMA family has its own task forces that are guiding us on how to get ready for reopening of schools.
“We are also in liaison with district health offices (DHOs) for them to provide us with necessary support structures that are required for us to be nationally relevant.
“We are very grateful for this donation by NICO which will go a long way in ensuring that our staff are protected as they prepare for the resumption of classes as well as hold this classes,” Mtenje said.
In his remarks, NICO Life Chief Executive Officer, Eric Chapola said the group felt that supporting the colleges is important as these institutions are frequented by not just students and staff but a lot of people from the general public.
“The pandemic has deeply affected all of us and the education sector was hit even harder with schools remaining closed for months.
“With the possibility of schools reopening in September, we hope that students and staff can return to their studies with their hearts more at ease because of this donation,” Chapola said.
He added that they came forward to assist because NICO Group is one of the beneficiaries of the products that UNIMA produces, including himself.
“As you may be aware, just a few weeks ago, NICO Life and Nico Pensions donated K6 million College of Medicine (COM) to acquire lap tops for 30 needy of its undergraduate students, who were facing challenges to access lessons in the wake of the tertiary institution being closed.
“We also have a programme running for five years at K6 million each in which we provide academic materials for deserving students.
“As a caring brand, the group believes in ensuring that the community it operates in experiences the NICO story first-hand and that NICO is committed to reaching out to as many people as possible during this pandemic,” he said.
In May, as soon as Malawi were registering COVID-19 cases, NICO Group donated 20 hospital beds, 20 mattresses, 20 oxygen units and 20 bedside trolleys worth K22 million to boost the services that is being provided at Kameza COVID-19 isolation centre in Blantyre.
Eight of the beds were intensive care unit (ICU) hydraulic adjustable to cater for very serious caFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :