Chancellor College (Chanco), a constituent college of the University of Malawi, has set up a laboratory for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) testing on its campus in Zomba.
The college, which is developing innovations that will help in dealing with the pandemic, is also rehabilitating a 40-bed capacity facility that will be used as a care centre for its staff and the public in the event that Covid-19 cases in the city increase.
Speaking during a tour of the facilities, the college’s principal Professor Richard Tambulasi said, among other things, the college is producing hand sanitisers, a ventilator, automated CPAP machines which will be used in aiding those with breathing difficulties and hand-washing facilities.
He, however, said they are yet to roll out Covid-19 tests on suspects in their laboratory because of lack of reagents.
“At Chanco, we have set up a laboratory for Covid-19 testing as we have the necessary equipment and personnel, but the challenge is that we do not have reagents,” said Tambulasi.
He said the college is working with the District Health Office to push for supply from central government so that they are able to test patients from Zomba and the entire Eastern Region.
The coming in of Chanco to conduct testing for the virus is expected to ease the pressure of testing at the College of Medicine which is handling tests for the Southern and Eastern regions.
The Covid-19 care centre the college is setting up is expected to have modern facilities such as Wi-Fi internet, washing machines and an ambulance.
In his remarks, Zomba City Council director of health and social services Gomezgani Nyasulu commended the college for the initiatives, saying the academia are crucial to offer solutions in times of crisis.
The country has registered 34 Covid-19 cases with three fatalities.