By Zakale Botomani
Minister of Civic education and National Unity Timothy Mtambo has announced that government through his ministry will intensify the awareness drive towards prevention of the Covid19 Pandemic. The minister made the remarks in Lilongwe at the Covid 19 daily briefing.
As of yesterday, 540 people have died since the pandemic was recorded in Malawi. Statistics that has brought fear and anxiety among Malawians “This, definitely, calls for massive and intensive dissemination of information on the spread of the disease and how it can be prevented. This also calls for everyone to take part in the fight. It cannot be government alone but everyone because the pandemic is affecting everyone” highlighted Mtambo
The minister assured all Malawians that his ministry, in collaboration with the Ministries of Information and Health; National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust; and other partners are doing all they can as part of the government efforts to combat the pandemic.
Among other things Mtambo said his ministry together with Ministry of health and information, beginning with Lilongwe city and rural on Monday rolled out an intensive information dissemination campaign through loud hailing. The Ministry has mobilized vehicles, through the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), from Government Ministries and Departments for the campaign. The vehicles, fitted with Public Address System, will be deployed to all districts and town councils in the country. This is to make sure that every Malawian is aware of the pandemic and what they need to do to minimise the spread of the virus and save lives
The initiative will see Teams comprising District Information Officers; Health Promotion Officers; and District NICE Civic Education Officers that have been set in all districts and town councils to carry out the campaign. They will move around every length and breadth of each district and town council, disseminating information on preventive measures
The minister also said the daily briefs that the Covid 19 taskforce are doing are also part of the awareness initiative as they aim to make the country aware of what is going on and providing timely updates to the nation.
It was also announced that Jingles, infographics and documentaries will be aired on all community radio stations, national radio and television stations. These will present information on the pandemic in terms of mode of transmission and how it can be prevented. Other channels for these materials will be WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, targeting particularly the youth who are at risk of contracting the disease because of their social behaviours.
Mtambo also announced that musicians will be involved in trying to sensitise people of the Virus. various artists will be engaged to come up with a song that will carry messages on the pandemic. The song will be played on various media channels and platforms
The minister expressed concern that there was some misconception among some Malawians that Covid is not real. Others believe that the disease is for the rich and people who live in cities and towns, which is not true as Covid19 can attack any other person, whether rich or poor; old or young; town dweller or villager. ” Covid has no boundaries. It attacks anyone regardless of status.
Let us follow all the preventive measures as advocated for by medical personnel for this is the sure way of protecting ourselves from the disease. Let’s Frequently wash our hands with soap or sanitize, wear a mask, Observe physical distance of about two metres, Avoid large crowds or crowded places and Seek immediate medical attention when you have symptoms such fever, body pains, cough, loss of smell and loss of taste” Said Mtambo
Also speaking on the briefing was Co-chairperson of Presidential Taskforce on Covid Dr John Phuka who called on Malawians not to delay bringing to hospitals anybody they see struggling with symptoms of Covid.