By Loness Gwazanga, MANA
Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) is appealing to partners to assist the office with beds to be used at the quarantine facility at Kameza.
Blantyre District Medical Officer (DMO) Dr. Miriam Jere revealed on Friday during a stakeholders’ meeting which attracted a cross section of health partners that the facility only has 10 beds.
“In the event that there are a number of COVID-19 confirmed cases, we will have a big problem to accommodate them,” she said. “We are, therefore, calling upon stakeholders to assist us with additional beds as well as tents so that we are good to go.”
Another challenge being faced that can affect the facility’s operations is that it has no electricity and is using generators.
“We need over 30 litres of diesel per day for the generator and it’s really costly. We also need fuel to pick up suspected patients at health facilities such Mwaiwathu and Blantyre Adventist Hospitals,” she said.
She then commended the partners for the good coordination, team work and active surveillance, saying this has made the sensitization work easier.
The DHO has so far managed to orient workers and business people from different organizations such as Maone Kriss Offset and Limbe Market.
Partners present at the meeting included One Community, Population Services International (PSI), Pakachere, Story Workshop and Medicines San Frontiers.
Apart from Kameza, there are also quarantine facilities in Mchinji, Karonga, Skin Centre at Kamuzu Central Hospital, Mzuzu Central Hospital and Mwanza.
Meanwhile, Senior Chief Kanduku of Mwanza has asked health department in the district to consider establishing screening and treatment camps in all informal routes into the district from Mozambique as a way of scaling up preventive measures against Coronavirus.
Senior Chief Kanduku made the request on Thursday during a Public Health Emergency Management (PHEM) committee aimed at briefing District Executive Committee (DEC) members on what the Council has done in the past week in relation to prevention of COVID-19 in the district.
“Some people from neighboring Mozambique enter our district through informal routes along the border, therefore there is need to consider putting treatment camps there,” Kanduku said.
He observed that concentrating on Mwanza Border Post alone will not help if unchartered routes are left unattended to.
People from Mozambique illegally enter Mwanza through unchartered routes through villages such as Samu and Chipondeni in the area of Senior Chief Kanduku and Mtasa, Kapise, Masokosa, Fupa and Faiti in the area of Senior Chief Nthache while in Traditional Authority Govati they use Msembedzera, Tsegulani and Mtitima villages.
Health promotion officer, Dikirani Chadza, who is also public relations officer for Mwanza DHO, has said so far the Council, through PHEM committee with technical expertise from the DHO, has conducted awareness meetings on causes, transmission and prevention of Coronavirus among the communities in the district.
“We have established screening and treatment centres and also deployed staff to provide health services regarding coronavirus at the entry point of Mwanza border,” Chadza said.
PHEM committee decided to brief the stakeholders so that they appreciate progress made so far.
Chadza cited some challenges encountered such as inadequate supplies of essential materials such as masks, papers for printing declaration forms, hand washing facilities and fuel.
He, therefore, requested well wishers to assist the DHO with resources in order for them to manage conducting preventive measures across the district.—Additional reporting by Brian Wasili, MANA