The government will soon deploy additional staff to Ntchisi District through the district health office as one of the measures to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chairperson of the Special Cabinet Committee on COVID-19 who is also Minister of Health, Jappie Mhango said on Tuesday morning when he visited the district to appreciate it’s preparedness towards COVID-19.
This was in reaction to the district’s Director of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Zondwayo Ng’oma’s remarks in which he indicated that the office has high vacancy rates for nurses, clinicians as well as Health Surveillance Assistants.
“The ministry has already started recruiting health workers and some of them will be deployed to Ntchisi District,” said Mhango.
He added that the issue of risk allowances for the health workers has also already been addressed and that the Ministry of Finance is processing them.
Mhango also assured the health workers that the government will provide them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for their safety by the end of this week.
The district has received some PPEs from non-governmental organisations such as World Vision Malawi, Water Aid Malawi, Light House and Ntchisi Evangelical Churches Consortium for Social Services (NECOSS).
He explained that the government understands the workers’ concerns and commends their efforts, hence will ensure their work conditions are improved.
The minister, who was also taken to the isolation ward which has been put up in case the district registers cases of COVID-19 patients, appealed to health workers to make good use of the available resources to prevent the spread of the virus.
District Commissioner for Ntchisi, Peter Jimusole told the minister the district was already implementing activities to prevent the spread, one of which was sensitisation of community members in the district on COVID-19 which is already underway.
Ntchisi District has not yet registered a confirmed case but there were two suspected cases which, according to Assistant Environmental Health Officer, Yotamu Kwauma are being closely monitored by health personnel.
Meanwhile, the health office has said it is grateful to people in the district for alerting the office whenever they come across a person who they suspect is infected with the virus and follow-ups are made.