It has emerged that people who lost their national identity cards (IDs) in Rumphi District have been denied access to Covid-19 vaccination.
This came to light during a Covid-19 vaccination campaign conducted by National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust in the district on Monday.
Some people at Kamphenda in Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe said for one to be vaccinated against Covid-19, they are required to present their IDs and those without one are turned away.
Glory Gondwe, who lost her ID when her house was burnt, said she has been trying to get the vaccine, but to no avail.
She said: “My house burnt and I lost everything, including my ID.
“I hear that I have to wait for a long time to get a new one.”
Iris Tembo from the same area also said she was turned away because she failed to show her ID.
But in an interview, Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe said people without IDs should not be turned away.
He said: “While a national identification card is necessary for capturing data, those who do not have it are not supposed to be turned away.
“Now that we are trying to motivate more people to get vaccinated, the ID should not be a must.”
Chikumbe said those without IDs can provide a phone number for identity, since renewing IDs takes time.
He also acknowledged reports of people being denied the vaccine due to lack of IDs have also been reported in other districts.