By Chrissie Litete
Blantyre, June 2, Mana; Ministry of Health has introduced COVID-19 a Sentinel surveillance which will target adults and under five children in order to keep close monitoring of changes in COVID-19 active infection rates.
Speaking during a District Executive Committee meeting in Blantyre, Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM) COVID-19 Response Surveillance Manager, Godwin Ulaya said the system would target on selected health facilities considering likelihood of high transition of the disease in Blantyre district.
He said 50 symptomatic patients and 25 asymptomatic patients from health facilities per week would be used in the survey in order to test their immunity and Limbe health center has been earmarked for the project.
“This system will strengthen routine surveillance working as an early warning system to detect new cases and changes in the profile of the epidemic. The project is not on a pilot phase but rather on implementation phase and it is ongoing until COVID-19 comes to an end.
“Sentinel will help to test the immunity of the people and also detect if people are vaccinated or not and how many are vaccinated,’’ Ulaya said.
Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Linda Mphande who also chaired the meeting said that, “Malawians need to do a soul searching within themselves and take action on getting the COVID-19 vaccine ,according to the statistics it shows that only 1,181 ,806 people have been fully vaccinated against 17 million people and this is not good.”
The Surveillance will target facilities such as Bwaila in Lilongwe, Mapale in Mzuzu, Matawale in Zomba and Mangochi District Health Office.
Additionally, 50 travellers per week will be approached in all points of entry such as Songwe and Mwanza boarders based on World Health Organization technical guidelines.
Malawi cumulatively confirmed 85,935 cases of COVID-19 with 2,634 deaths as of May 30, 2022.