Temwa Sustainable Community Development health and education officer Emmanuel Njikho says it is important to continue encouraging people in rural areas to get vaccinated against Covid-19 if the country is to achieve herd immunity.
His remarks follow continued resistance by rural communities in Nkhata Bay District to get vaccinated against Covid-19 due to myths and misconceptions surrounding the jabs.
In his remarks on Friday during a Covid-19 vaccination outreach programme in Usisya, Njikho said his organisation is supporting five health centres in Nkhata Bay North to reach rural communities with the vaccination exercise.
“We also support the facilities to improve healthcare delivery,” he said.
Despite the outreach programme, few people turned up to get vaccinated.
Of the 121 people who got vaccinated, only 40 were women.
Medify Nyirenda, who received her jab, said her fellow women believed that the vaccine was not good for them.
“There is misinformation that the vaccine can make women sterile,” she said.
However, she acknowledged that Usisya Community Radio is playing a big role in disseminating Covid-19 messages through Temwa Vyaumoyo Mchikaya radio programme.
“But we also receive Covid-19 messages through phones, which is also effective,” said Nyirenda.
On his part, Usisya Health Centre expanded programme on immunisation focal person Robert Ngwira said the area’s terrain prevented them from reaching out to many people with Covid-19 messages and the vaccination exercise.
“Most of the areas are reachable by boat and the hospital does not have any,” he said.
Usisya Health Centre in-charge Roosevelt Njeghenje said they do not have a means of transport to remote areas, saying health workers walk to their assigned areas.
“The farthest area the hospital caters for is Sanga Katuwa, 25 kilometres away,” he said.
As of September 22, Nkhata-Bay had three active Covid-19 cases