Authorities in some health centres in Mzimba North have asked the government to fast-track initiatives of making sure district hospitals have the capacity to test Covid-19.

So far, only three institutions namely College of Medicine and Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust in Blantyre and National Laboratory in Lilongwe are able to test for the virus.

Joyful Pindani, who is in charge of Kaweche Health Centre in Mzimba, said most health centres in the district do not have the capacity to handle coronavirus cases in the event that they are registered in the country.

Pindani made the remarks during a sensitisation meeting which was organised by Mzimba North District Health Office (DHO) in conjunction with Plan Malawi.

Mzimba North DHO Assistant Environmental Officer, Chitatata Luhanga, said his office is currently conducting sensitisation campaigns as they wait for government’s interventions on the matter.

“We noted that many people in rural areas are not knowledgeable about the disease, which is why we decided to engage them. We are trying to remove all myths in relation to the virus,” Luhanga said.

Plan Malawi Programme Area Manager, Chakufwa Munthali, said the campaigns have been organised in response to concerns by Mzimba North District Health Services Office that most people are not aware of the coronavirus.

He said the sensitisation campaigns will be held in eight areas in the area.

Ministry of Health spokesperson, Joshua Malango, said plans are underway to upgrade district hospitals’ laboratories so that they are able to test Covid-19.

So far, Malawi has not officially registered any Covid-19 case.

Still, President Peter Mutharika recently announced measures to contain the spread of the contagion which reportedly started in Wuhan, China, before spreading to the rest of the world.

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