ROTARY CLUBS IN MALAWI COVID 19 RESPONSE
In April 2020, the District governor of district 9210, which includes, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique challenged the Rotary family to come together at country level and put together a Covid 19 response as is relevant for each country context. Hence the Malawi team was formed with a representative from each of Malawi's 6 clubs. Rotary club of Bwaila, Rotary Club of Mzuzu, Rotary club of Lilongwe, Rotary Club lf Limbe, Rotary Club of Blantyre and Rotary Club of Lingadzi.
Given the urgent health needs, and the opportunities provided by the Rotary Foundation, the committee opted to align with the Health cluster. The overall goal of the health cluster is to prevent the further escalation of the epidemic, rapidly detect new infections, reduce morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 in the country. The specific objectives for the health cluster include the following:
i. To strengthen coordination and leadership for the health sector response towards the COVID-19 epidemic in Malawi.
ii. To provide meaningful, relevant, accurate and actionable information on COVID-19 to all Malawians.
iii. To detect COVID-19 cases and contacts in Malawi.
iv. To strengthen all Points Of Entry in order to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 from other countries to Malawi.
v. To provide timely and quality testing services for COVID-19 to ensure early detection for rapid appropriate interventions.
vi. To manage all COVID-19 confirmed cases through provision of clinical, nursing and psychosocial care at all levels of health service delivery.
vii. To prevent and control the spread of COVID -19 through implementation of IPC measures at all levels.
viii. To mobilize COVID-19 supplies, medicines, equipment, and pre-position and deliver them to health facilities, treatment and isolation centres.
ix. To strengthen capacity of all district and central hospitals to deliver services for moderately and severely ill patients affected by COVID-19 and isolate cases appropriately.
x. To maintain equitable access to essential health services delivery to minimize consequences and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the population.
xi. To provide adequate and qualified surveillance, lab, clinical and relevant health human resources for COVID-19 response
As a team, we consulted with District Health Officers(DHOs) from the three regions: North, Central and South and Corvid 19 tasks teams from all the regions to discern the needs and decide on a response path for the Rotary Clubs of Malawi. Following the consultations we developed a response framework that focused on the three stages of disease control: Prevention, Mitigation of impact and adaptation for change. The Plan looked at immediate short term measures, medium term interventions and long term measures. Jointly, the Rotary Clubs in Malawi have responded in two phases, this Global grant is the third phase.
ROTARY CLUBS IN MALAWI RESPONSE PHASE ONE: (Mk.6,000,000.00)
Eliminate the Covid 19 Risk: Short Term; Immediate Responses
The first phase was fully funded by the six Rotary Clubs in Malawi: The Rotary Clubs of Limbe, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Bwaila-Lilongwe, Lingadzi Lilongwe and Mzuzu. The clubs jointly raised a total of Mk. 6,000,000.00 ( US $ 8,000.00)
This is where most of our short term impact was focused:
Help isolation and treatment centers get ready for receiving Covid 19 patients.
Support the provision of basic prevention hygiene. Including temporary hand washing facilities and soap for health facilities.
Supply protective wear for health workers and other staff on the frontline of care
ROTARY CLUBS IN MALAWI RESPONSE PHASE TWO : GLOBAL GRANT ONE $98,000 (MK.
Mitigate the Impact of Covid 19: Medium Term Initiatives
Just before the holidays, the Rotary Clubs in Malawi responded to the Covid situation with support from a global grant which was championed by the Rotary Club of Mzuzu. The second phase was funded by a global grant with contributions from Lilongwe Water Board, District 9210 and the following International Clubs. From Germany, District 1850 and the Rotary clubs of: Bad Bederkesa, Bentheim(Grafschaft), Delmenhorst, Bremen-Butcherstrasse, Bremerhaven, Cloppenburg-Quakenbruck, Bersenbruck Altkrein, Leer/Ostfriesland. From the United States of America, Districts 6040 and District 7600. From Holland friends of the Rotary Club of Lilongwe-Lingadzi
In this phase of our response we reached out to five health facilities: Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the South, Bwaila District Maternity Hospital, Mitundu Community Hospital, Area 25 Clinic in the Centre and St. John of God Hospital in the North.
Our focus in this phase included
Support Treatment of conditions related to Covid 19 by providing essential medicines and medical supplies, equipment and furniture for health facilities and isolation centers designated to handle COVID 19 patients.
Among the items donated included the following: Oxygen concentrators, Suction Machines, Mattresses, Beddings, pulse oximeters, Nursery Heaters, Infra red thermometers.
Given that we were at the beginning of the second wave of the epidemic, the health facilities still requested for PPE including: face masks, theatre gowns, gloves, googles, face shields, aprons, gum boots. Other items requested for included materials needed for disinfection such as chlorine and soap.
GLOBAL GRANT 2: $300,000.00(Mk. 225,000,000)
In this phase we are looking at the long term solutions. Adaptation and Redesign: A different way of Doing Health. However because this response finds us still in the middle of a second wave of the Covid 19 Pandemic in Malawi. We need to continue supporting the treatment efforts of the health facilities and ensure safety of the health care workers.
This Global grant will therefore focus on the following Objectives :
PPE: Provide PPE to ensure improved safety of our frontline healthcare workers.
TREATMENT EQUIPMENT: Procure urgently needed equipment for the treatment centers.
WASH: Improve access to clean and safe water and install permanent hand washing stations for Health Facilities, where these do not exist.
VACCINATION: Complement the national vaccination efforts against Covid 19, this being a traditional Rotary Support area.
TRAINING: Support training of health care workers in the use of modern technology for disease treatment and control, e.g Ventilators.
HEALTH PROTOCOLS: Facilitate the development of national prevention, mitigation and treatment protocols for infectious diseases that can be visibly displayed in health facilities and community social spaces.
DISEASE SURVEILLANCE: Equip the surveillance units of health facilities to better monitor community health vis a vis communicable diseases and enhance their capacity to respond to disease outbreaks efficiently and in a timely manner.
This Global grant will have the following main activities
1. Procurement and delivery of the requested for equipment and medical supplies approved in the grant.
2. Training of Health Care Workers.
3. Capacity building of the Health surveillance units of the beneficiary hospitals.
4. Installation of permanent handwashing stations where those have been requested.
5. Support of the Vaccination Effort especially the health education component.
6. Monitoring, evaluation and learning.
For Purposes of impact, we have chosen to stay with the same health facilities we have worked with in Phase one and phase two but expand to scope of support. In the North however we have added Nkhatabay District hospital and Mzuzu Central Hospital on the beneficiary list.