Ministry of Health meets Truck drivers on COVID-19 Response  

The Ministry of Health is orienting members of the truck Drivers association of Malawi and Professional Drivers Association on COVID-19 infection prevention and control of transmission as one way of fighting the pandemic. The Ministry, through the Health Education Services, has lined up meetings with truck drivers in all the regions to provide a platform for detailed information on the disease and hear out the fears and rumours that are preventing some drivers from adhering to COVID-19 instituted prevention measures.

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The Family Planning programme

The national FP programme of the RHD seeks to reduce unmet need for family planning services, unintended pregnancies as well as socio-economic disparities in contraceptive use through provision of voluntary comprehensive family planning services at all levels to all men, women and young people of reproductive age. Its objective is to strengthen availability, access to and utilization of family planning services at health facility and community levels.

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 Major Challenges

1. The control of a number of diseases such as Malaria still poses a big threat to health and lack of resources for indoor residual spraying and environmental control in high prevalence areas contributes to continuing health problems impacting on families, communities and the economy. 

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The health care system

Health services in Malawi are provided by public, private for profit (PFP) and private not for profit (PNFP) sectors. The public sector includes all health facilities under the Ministry of Health (MOH), district, town and city councils, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Public Security (Police and Prisons) and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining.

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Support for fight against TB in Mining

The World Bank is supporting the Regional TB in mining Project (part of the Africa Regional Communicable Disease Control and Preparedness Program), which aims at controlling and or eliminating priority communicable diseases on the continent. Malawi is one of the four participating countries in the project. The overarching goal of the project is to increase utilization of key TB control and occupational lung diseases services in Malawi and strengthen the sub-region’s capacity to address such conditions.

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Health Awareness
Health Challenges
Health Facilities
Health in Mining

President Chakwera to award health workers 

Malawi President, Dr Lazarus Chakwera will be awarding five most dedicated health workers in the country every quarter. The awards, dubbed Zikomo Presidential Awards are a celebratory gesture and a token of appreciation for the hard work, self-sacrifice and dedication shown by health workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chakwera said this during his second weekly update on 1 August which highlighted several issues around Covid-19 in the country. The President said he was sad to share that cases continue to rise owing to local transmissions and that there seem to be no light at the end of the tunnel for the social and economic sectors that have been heavily affected.

However, amid all the gloom, Malawi has something to celebrate. This is because nearly half of those found with the Corona Virus have already fully recovered crediting this to the brave health workers who continue to put their lives at risk every day.

“These health care champions are doing this against many odds, including depressing working conditions, depleted medical supplies, and deteriorating health facilities caused by years of neglect. Such acts of heroism are a special occurrence in 3 other sectors, but a daily staple for our health workers. Without them, we would simply have no chance and no hope against this pandemic, because they are truly our last line of defense,” he said. 

Chakwera called on all other sectors to play their part. He said stopping the spread of the virus demands a combination of interventions from all sectors of society and coordination across ministries.

“None of those interventions and coordinated efforts will matter if you as citizens are still behaving as if there is no pandemic. At present, the fiercest outbreaks of the virus are occurring in the urban areas of Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe, and Mzuzu, as well as border districts,” he said.

Chakwera added that it was surprising that there are still people in these areas who are ignoring three simple rules of prevention.

He said: “These rules, which I call the three “W’s”, have proven to reduce infections and save lives: 1. Watch your distance. 2. Wash your hands. 3. Wear your mask. At the moment, we do not yet have the law in place to enforce these rules and punish those found to be in violation of them, but the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice are working on providing such a law. But the bottom line is that this fight is a matter of your life and death, and so it should not require a law”.

As of 1 August 2020, Malawi has reported 4186 cumulative cases, 1914 recoveries and 120 deaths. To this date, 30,930 tests have been conducted.