Following an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which has now spread to the city of Goma in the same country, UK AID has stepped in to prevent the spread into Malawi, considering that Malawi Defense Force Soldiers are also in DRC on Peace Keeping Missions.
“Given the worrying developments in DRC, it is essential we help the Government of Malawi make preparations to prevent the virus entering and taking hold. Putting effective measures in place now will help keep Malawi safe.” said Desmond Whyms, Health Team Leader, DFID Malawi.
As a resolve, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has provided about £478,000 to UNICEF for Ebola preparedness and prevention work in Malawi. The funding will enable 500 health workers from nine districts (Chitipa, Karonga, Mzuzu, Dowa, Lilongwe, Mchinji, Dedza, Mwanza, and Blantyre) will be trained to prevent, detect, treat and manage Ebola. UNICEF will procure supplies to ensure that the nine districts are prepared for any potential outbreak. Over the next four months, UNICEF will also support the screening of soldiers returning from the DRC and ensure that communities in border districts are sensitized about Ebola, to recognize and quickly report any suspected cases and how to protect themselves and their children.
The donation is not only but important, as Malawi Defense Forces (MDF) soldiers are presently stationed in Beni, which is the worst affected area. Although the soldiers do not come in contact with patients, the possibility of contracting the infection by any member of the force is there given that they are stationed in the hotspot area.