To fight the worldwide outbreak of the Coronavirus, almost all countries in the world take measures. This is also the case in Malawi. Jacqueline gives an update of the situation in and round the Eva Demaya Centre.
The Malawian government gave orders for a complete lockdown in the middle of april. Currently there is no complete lockdown in place, but people have to keep social distance. Social distancing rules are in daily practice difficult to keep, for the larger part of the population.
As a consequence of strict rules for public transportation, only very few people are allowed in minibuses and taxis, so prices of public transportation have risen enormously. All schools are closed as well as the lodges in the nature resorts. Almost no foreigners are left in Malawi.
Businesses and trade have also come to a complete stand-still, because working from home is very unusual in Malawi. Shops are mostly open, but there is little activity. Only the daily trade of fresh food is going on. It is a positive coincidence that people in the villages just harvested their crops, so there is no instant food shortage.
Not many infections with the Coronavirus are known in Malawi, but some official cases where reported in the north. It is expected that the numbers of infections are much higher in reality, because of the very limited testing that is done.
The hospital in Mzuzu is one of the few places where testing is possible.
The Malawian government and health systems have no capacity and possibilities to treat the Covid-19 affections. The official advice for health centres like Eva Demaya is to send patients with Corona-like symptoms to go home in self isolation.
The Eva Demaya Centre prepares as wel as it could to the outbreach of Covid-19 and to the announced lockdown. A large amount of medicines and medical equipment has been purchased. Also extra materials for the building project of the Luvirischool was purchased.
Another thing to anticipate is the fact that travelling is officially not allowed, except for essential (health)services, like the Centre is. All employees off the Centre have been provided a letter with their own data and the explanation that they travel for work. The employees of the Mzuzu office can work from home, occasionally.
The work on the Centre itself continues to go well. It is quite busy in the clinic, not with Coronapatients, but with Malari patients. Usually the clinic is provided with a standard medicin for Malaria by the government, via the Rhumpi hospital. These medicins are free of charge prescribed to the malaria patients.
Currently thes medicins are not supllied anymore, with no explanation of the government. This means the Centre used its own resources to purchase malaria medicins. Unfortunately, these medicins are more expensive and patients have to pay for them. The self supply sofar goes quit well, and the Centre managed to realize a small stock with these medicins.
The Centre also took some measusres against the virus. The maturnity has closed and weekly Vimbuza dances have stopped. In the villages the sport competition is postponed.
The vocational training is likely to start as planned, this training is on a small scale and can be realized with the necessary distance.