NICE Trust takes COVID-19 vaccine messages to communities

By Grace Kapatuka

Salima, September 9, Mana. National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust in conjunction with the Ministry of Civic Education and National Unity has embarked on an awareness campaign on COVID-19 messages to communities in Salima.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Wednesday, District Civic Education Officer for NICE Trust in Salima, Queen Mataya said the campaign was meant to mobilize and encourage the communities to continue observing COVID-19 preventive measures and to go for the vaccine.

“We would like to keep on reminding them that the pandemic is still amidst us and to encourage them to continue observing the preventive measures for public safety against the virus,” she said.

M’mbelwa receiving a jab during the launch of the vaccine in the northen region-pic by Gracian Jeke-Mana.

According to Mataya, her office has observed that some people have relaxed on adherence to COVID-19 measures hence the reminder.

She said reports from the district hospital are indicating that there was low uptake of the vaccine hence the need to encourage people to go for the vaccine.

Mataya said the sensitistion campaign targeted communities in their locations, trading centres, market days and beach villages.

Health Promotion Officer for Salima Angella Sakwata said the district has enough dosage for the district for the time being but was quick to point out that the uptake was not that pleasing.

“We have enough supplies in all our health facilities but our concern is that the uptake is decreasing every day, a development that is worrying us. We really need to do something on awareness,” she said.

Sakwata said her office and the District Information Office are already doing a commendable job on sensitizing masses on COVID-19 and vaccine, but said there was need for the team to intensify the campaign.

Sakwata commended NICE Trust for coming up with the sensitization campaign in the district saying it would help bridge the gaps that are there in message dissemination.

Group Village Headman (GVH) Gwirize of Traditional Authority (TA) Pemba said the leaders from the area have intensified sensitization meetings with the communities in an effort to create awareness on the vaccine that was being administered in the district.

He said he was hopeful that figures would start rising with time as they continue with the message dissemination exercise.

The Chief expressed concern that it was becoming difficult sometimes to convince some quarters to go for the vaccine.

Data sourced from Salima District Hospital indicates that about 10,871 people have so far received full dose of AstraZeneca vaccine while 7452 received Johnson and Johnson as of September 5, 2021.