Mpata Health Centre management committee chairperson Joseph Mwasongwe has bemoaned lack of intensive Covid-19 awareness in Paramount Chief Kyungu in Karonga.
The official said this on Friday during a Covid-19 prevention awareness meeting the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) held with the committee.
“Since March, people have been conducting their businesses as usual in mobile markets, churches, and at funeral and wedding ceremonies without observing social distancing and wearing face masks,” said Mwasongwe.
He has since asked duty-bearers to put in place measures to control gatherings in mobile markets and drinking joints.
On his part, CHRR assistant project officer Wilfred Mwambira said they engaged health centre management committee members in six health facilities in the district on Covid-19 preventive measures.
He said: “These committees are the link between the community and health centres.
“So, after realising how rapid the pandemic is spreading and affecting service delivery in education, economy, health and agriculture, we urged the community leaders to relay the message to people.”
Karonga district commissioner Paul Kalilombe said the first phase of the council’s Covid-19 response focused on the capacity building of community leaders and hospital staff on preventive and treatment measures.
He said: “We will shift focus during the second phase so that we reach out to the grassroots.
“We will also co-opt community development leaders, the social welfare office and youth groups to reach as many people as possible.”
CHRR is implementing a health governance project in Karonga and Dowa districts with funding from Oxfam.