We hear directly from Rebecca, a member of the Link team in Lilongwe:
Malawi is one of the African developing countries which has also been shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first three cases of the coronavirus were confirmed on 2nd April by President Mutharika and as of 17th May Malawi has recorded 70 confirmed cases, 3 deaths and 27 recoveries.
The pandemic has really shaken all sectors, both in government and NGOs. It’s been almost 2 months now since the government ordered all schools to be closed. Business is not as smooth as usual. A lot of offices and companies are operating from home which is also difficult at times due to poor internet access.
Different measures have been put in place by the government with the help of other NGOs to prevent the spread of COVID-19. So far there has been a lot of media mobilization and sensitization on prevention measures such as washing hands with soap often, maintaining safe distance, staying at home, covering your nose and mouth with a bent elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and many more hygiene measures.
Although these messages are being delivered via radio and print, there are still a lot of rural communities in Malawi who have not been reached with the right messages and prevention measures. Many people in the rural areas remain at risk and there is a need for more sensitization. Some people in Malawi doubt the existence of the virus here, and so it’s so important that we keep spreading the message.
Election rally underway this month
In the midst of this, Malawi is also expected to hold fresh presidential elections on 2nd July 2020 and the Malawi Electoral Commission officially launched the campaign period a few weeks ago. Since then, a number of large political rallies have taken place. Here at Link Malawi, we join the Ministry of Health in calling for continued strict adherence to virus prevention measures including hand-washing and social distancing during this time.
All the gains made so far towards transforming lives for vulnerable young people by development partners and the Malawian Government could be lost if we don’t all work together to control the pandemic. I’m happy to be working at Link where we continue to support the government in delivering learning, including keeping in touch directly with participants in our community classes through direct calls.
“Let’s fight Covid-19 together by washing our hands with soap often”- Rebecca