A study conducted by students and lecturers from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) has revealed that a section of the urban poor are at most risk to the threat of Covid-19.
A lecturer in food microbiology at Luanar, Tinna Manani, said the study, which was conducted in Lilongwe and Dedza, revealed that vulnerable people who live in unfinished houses in urban areas are providing a fertile ground for the coronavirus to spread.
She told Malawi News Agency about the findings after presenting the results of the study to Dedza District Nutrition Coordinating Committee on Monday.
“We had a study on water and food safety in the context of Covid-19 in which we wanted to find out whether people have challenges in accessing water and soap,” said Manani.
Washing hands with soap is among the guidelines that were put in place by the Ministry of Health to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“The study showed that although most people in urban areas have access to safe water, there are some in these areas who are homeless,” she added.
The lecturer further said there was need for government and other stakeholders to intensify livelihood programmes to sustain such people who cannot use the income generated to buy soap.
Reacting to the findings, Dedza district nutrition officer Juliet Jinazali acknowledged the need to give special consideration to vulnerable people who reside in urban areas.