By Tiyamike Falinya - Communications Officer, Malawi
World Vision has urged the public to accept the COVID-19 vaccine* in order to help the country recover and build back after a year of slow business. The organisation's Director for Advocacy and Communications, Charles Gwengwe, made these remarks as he joined Government officials to roll out the AstraZeneca vaccine drive in Ntcheu district.
Speaking to councillors, traditional leaders, civil society groups and the media, Gwengwe appealed to all leaders, especially traditional and faith leaders to use their platforms to promote the vaccine in order to give their villages a chance of building back and improving children’s lives.
“If businesses remain slow as they are, food security is at risk. If our markets will continue facing restrictions, then our lives won’t change for the better. Likewise, if schools will continue being disrupted as it happened, then the development of our communities is in danger”, challenged Gwengwe, before highlighting that these consequences would have a sad bearing on children.
“At the end of the day, if COVID-19 stays for long, it is our children, especially those very poor who will lose out in the future”, added Gwengwe
Malawi received 360,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine under COVAX – a global initiative working with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines –; with this number of doses expected to cater for 20% of the country’s population, prioritising health workers, the elderly and those with underlying conditions. World Vision continues to appeal for special consideration for other vulnerable groups, especially refugees.
Making his remarks at the event, Council Chairperson for Ntcheu district Mambo Jumbe hailed the district for its collective role in fighting the pandemic, and especially World Vision, for supporting the rollout of the vaccine in the district.
“Through this collaboration, I believe that we are all going to defeat COVID-19 in Ntcheu and return to our normal lives”, he said.
Recently, World Vision mobilised faith leaders across Malawi to promote the vaccine as well as sustain their messaging of preventive measures for the pandemic in their different constituencies. In addition, the organisation has been collaborating with health workers across the country on promotion of preventive measures, as well as providing protective equipment to health facilities.
Malawi registered a spike in COVID-19 cases from December 2020 into early 2021. So far, the country has registered over 33,000 positive cases, with nearly 1,100 deaths.
*As an organisation, World Vision is excited at the global potential for COVID-19 vaccines to change and save lives. The development and introduction of safe vaccines is key to protecting the world's most vulnerable people and restoring hope and livelihoods. For more information, click here.