CONGOMA, MHEN worried with low Covid-19 vaccine uptake

Council for Non-Governmental Organization (CONGOMA) and Malawi Health Equity Network (MEHN) have expressed disappointment with the low Covid-19 vaccine uptake among Malawians despite numerous efforts to encourage people to get the jab.

To date, only 36 percent of the Malawian population has been vaccinated, a situation experts have attributed to resistance and misinformation.

In a statement marking three years since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic, CONGOMA Media and Communications officer, Mphatso Jezman, said most Malawians are at risk of contracting and spreading the disease should it hit again.

“This year, the clarion call is never again implying the scale of the devastation to human life should never happen again. Malawi is among the least vaccinated with only 36 percent vaccinated against Africa’s 29 percent and the global 65 percent. Malawi was supposed to vaccinate at least 70 percent of its people by 2022 but the target has not been reached due to resistance and misinformation. This means more people might continue being infected,” Jezman explained.

He stated that low demand for and access to vaccines among Malawians remain main impediments not only in Malawi, but the whole African region.

Jezman said Malawi has not been spared from effects of Covid-19 that revolves around social, economic and political angles and immensely on the elderly and people with disabilities.

She said the uptake of the vaccine has not been encouraging as the targets have not been met.

“This has been triggered by reduced numbers of people being recorded on daily basis. In fact, due to the reduced daily cases, the ministry of health is providing such updates on weekly basis. The fact that cases are being recorded on routine basis is a clear indication that Covid-19 still exist and there is need to take precautionary measures,” she added.

On his part, MHEN Programme Director Davies Mwachumu appealed to the Malawi Government to use civil society groups so that Covid-19 messages reach people through door-to-door campaign.

Mwachumu said this strategy would work to the best advantage of the people.

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