This is the second in a series that profiles the work and thought leadership of Watipa scholars in their local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comfort Menard is studying Mining Engineering in Malawi and is looking forward to classes resuming. In the meantime, he has been mobilising his peers to share information, textbooks and soap to households in his community.
Just like many other countries in the world, Malawi is not spared from the Covid 19 pandemic. As of 1st June, 2020, according to ministry of health and population, Malawi has recorded 284 cases. Out of this, four have died, fourty six have recovered, and two hundred and thirty four still remain active cases.
Due to this pandemic people particularly in my community, Wowve, live in fear and feel hopeless, because their small businesses are now on stand still due to fear of contracting the virus. In order to join forces in contributing to the fight against the pandemic in my community, Wovwe.
I decided to encourage my fellow youths and form and chair a group. As a group we conduct door to door activities where among others we civic educate the households on the importance of staying home and avoiding unnecessary movements, keeping social distance of about 1.5 meters, avoiding handshaking, and regular hand washing with soap.
In addition to these preventive measures, we also alert the community on these signs and symptoms; severe headache, fever, coughing and sneezing, and difficult breathing, among others, that they immediately isolate themselves from the family and call emergency number provided by health sector for the medical professional to check on them or immediately they go and visit the nearest hospital for assistance.
As a group we have also managed to source some little funds amounting to eighty two thousand Malawi kwacha (approximately USD $100). From this amount we have bought some text books and distributed to primary going children in ten households so that we keep these children busy at their respective homes, reading, to avoid unnecessary movements. The other amount we have bought some tablets of soap and distributed to twelve households to be used during hand washing.
~ Comfort Menard, Watipa scholar, Malawi