By Glory Msowoya
Blantyre, October 26, Mana: The Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) says it still faces a deficit of K3 billion to cater for the expenses of its Covid-19 preparedness and response plan whose total budget is K5 billion.
Secretary General for the Malawi Red Cross Society, McBain Kanongodza made the revelation on Sunday in Blantyre during an interface meeting between Malawi Red Cross Society, Ministry of Health and journalists under the Blantyre Press Club.
He said the MRCS needs to support Malawians who were affected by the Covid-19 but delay in funding has affected the society’s operations.
“As MRCS we are not satisfied because if you look at our plan we lined up a number of activities that ranged from awareness, distribution of personal protective equipments to construction of treatment centers,” Konongodza said, adding that the Society’s activities budget came up to around K5. Billion
He said MRCS has K2 Billion that cannot satisfy the planned activities adding that the gap is huge.
Kanongodza further expressed worry with the low number of actors supporting community based Covid-19 response.
“We are concerned that some players who were on the scene since the beginning of Covid-19 in the country, the majority have folded their hands and very few are on the ground.
“This poses a threat to the country despite a reduction of new cases being registered. There is need for more awareness to fully contain the virus,” Kanongodza pleaded.
Acting Deputy Director of Preventive Health Services responsible for Health Education Services in the Ministry of Health, Mavuto Thomas also expressed concern over decreased media coverage on issues of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Media played a good role since the beginning of the pandemic but we have noted that after the country started registering a decrease of cases of Covid-19 the coverage has changed,” he said.
He said Ministry of Health wants to sustain the momentum so that people can still practice preventive measures so that the nation should be able to eliminate Covid-19 and not to have a second wave of it.
Secretary General for Blantyre Press Club, Esther Nyanja pleaded with journalists in the country not to relax but to continue reporting issues of Covid-19 as the country continues registering new cases.
“Its my humble plea to my fellow journalists to continue writing more stories on Covid 19. Let us go in schools and observe how learners are copying up in line with preventive measures,” she said.
The meeting drew together officials from Ministry of Health, Malawi Red Cross Society and journalists under the Blantyre Press Club.