By Daniel Sankhulani
Chikwawa, September 25, Mana: Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA) on Friday oriented members of District Disability Forum (DDF) in Chikwawa on Covid-19 to enable the forum to disseminate further messages on preventive measures to effectively respond to the pandemic in the district.
Speaking during the meeting, District Rehabilitation Officer, Fredrick Mazuku said they invited the DDF members on a long day orientation of Covid-19 awareness so that they should understand and disseminate messages to their members in communities they represent.
He said the orientation was done after realizing some knowledge gaps persons with disabilities in the district had on issues of Covid-19.
“There was a gap on delivery of messages relating to Covid-19 pandemic since most of the messages were delivered generally,” Mazuku said, adding that people with disabilities in Chikwawa needed better understanding of ways to deliver the messages in their respective communities.
He added that it was worrisome that most partners have not considered orienting people with disability on ways and means to prevent Coronavirus transmission saying most of messages are meant for the general population while sidelining the people with disability.
Health Promotion Officer for Chikwawa, Peter Nasoni said they partnered with MACOHA to orient the members of the DDF as one way of incorporating them into Covid-19 response as opposed to sidelining them.
“All we tried to do was to bring to their attention that Covid-19 is real but also for them to be aware of what it is all about and how to prevent it,” he said.
The Health Promotion Officer noted that most messages of the Covid-19 were not designed for people with disability.
“The challenge was that most messages since the onset of the awareness interventions were for the public leaving behind our colleagues living with disabilities,” Nasoni said.
He appealed to partners in the district to reaching out to the people living with disabilities with Coronavirus interventions to respond to their needs.
District Chairperson for Chikwawa for Association for Physical Disability of Malawi, Blessings Chikwakwa said the orientation was ideal and timely as it has now closed some knowledge gaps among DDF members on Covid-19.
He commended MACOHA and the District Health Office for supporting the initiative saying they learnt technical ways on how to deliver Covid-19 messages to the people with disabilities in the district.