NICO Holdings reaches out to DAPP’s Under-5 nutritional project in Machinga communities

By Duncan Mlanjira

NICO Life and NICO Pension jointly donated K2 million to assist Development Aid for People to People (DAPP) Malawi in support of the organisation’s COVID-19 activities in Machinga communities where it is carrying out a nutrition programme for Under-5 children.

Receiving the donation, DAPP Malawi’s head of programmes Moses Chibwana said they intend to sensitise parents of the children in the communities they are working to continue adhering to the COVID-19 preventive measures.

He said it was important for the communities to continue adhering to the COVID-19 preventive measures even though reports indicate that the country is currently registering low occurrences of the pandemic.

Chibwana explaining DAPP’s activities

From the 348 COVID-19 tests done on Friday, the country registered 17 new cases, 15 new recoveries and no new deaths.

Sixteen of the new cases are locally transmitted infections: nine are from Lilongwe and seven from Blantyre.

Thus, Chibwana said there is need to continue sensitising people on adhering to the preventive measures to avoid recurrences of the pandemic in vulnerable communities.

“We appreciate the support from NICO Life and NICO Pension because together we are going to win the fight against COVID-19, which has affected the country in many ways.

NICO Life CEO Eric Chapola

“This support will go a long way to empower the communities so that they are not affected by the pandemic further and will help us effectively carry out the nutritional project we have in Machinga’s Traditional Authority Nyambi.”

He said they are carrying out their nutritional project — that reaches out to over 12,600 families, in partnership with other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Health through Nkwepele Health Centre.

Chibwana appraised NICO Life’s Chief Executive Officer Eric Chapola and members of his staff, that DAPP has several projects across the country in health, education, agriculture and more recently the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

In education, DAPP — established in Malawi in 1995 — runs four teachers training colleges in Blantyre, Dowa, Mzimba and Thyolo while in agriculture they engage over 3,000 small holder macadamia farmers in Thyolo and Mzimba.

Coronavirus alert

Chapola said they felt duty bound to assist DAPP in appreciation of the supremacy of their efforts in making sure the pandemic is minimized and eliminated altogether.

“We have responded to the calls for support as DAPP realised that there was lack of adequate awareness of the pandemic in the communities they work.

“As a caring brand, NICO finds it moorland to assist communities during the pandemic and it is a relief that current reports indicate that the country is registering low occurrences of the pandemic.

“It is a fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone and it has been observed that people in remote areas are not getting as much information about the pandemic as those in urban setups.

Coronavirus alert

“We believe that it is possible to reach out to as many people, regardless of where they are.

In May, as soon as Malawi were registering COVID-19 cases, NICO Group donated 20 hospital beds, 20 mattresses, 20 oxygen units and 20 bedside trolleys worth K22 million to boost the services that is being provided at Kameza COVID-19 isolation centre in Blantyre.

Last month, NICO Life and NICO Pensions also responded to a call for help from College of Medicine by donating personal protective equipment (PPEs), worth K6m to University of Malawi (UNIMA) as the constituent college prepares for resumption of physical academic classes.

NICO Life and NICO Pensions provided 2,000 N95 masks; 2,000 general masks and 81 face shields.

NICO staff at Kameza Isolation Centre in May

Earlier on, NICO Life and Nico Pensions also donated K6 million College of Medicine (COM) to acquire lap tops for 30 needy of its undergraduate students, who were facing challenges to access lessons in the wake of the tertiary institution being closed in observance of preventing COVID-19.

NICO also has a programme running for five years at K6 million each in which we provide academic materials for deserving students.

Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 5,764 cases including 179 deaths and of these cases, 1,147 are imported infections and 4,617 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 52,121 tests have been conducted in the country so far and 4,178 cases have now recovered bringing the total number of active cases to 1,407.

Coronavirus alert