Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to pose a global health risk as more people are getting infected each passing day and more lives being lost. Malawi is not an exception as cases are rising on a daily basis whilst two people have already lost their lives as at the time of writing this article. Lilongwe district is at increased risk of the disease because of the cross-border trade as well as international travellers from countries already affected by COVID-19 who pass through the district.
As such, it is imperative to enhance public awareness, preparedness and engagement. This would help to prevent further infection as well as enable the public to report any suspected cases of COVID-19
The Principal addressing the staff on COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) is undertaking a number of activities to complement the Government’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking at the urgency of the matter, the college established a committee at it’s Lilongwe and Blantyre campuses to look into the issues of coronavirus prevention and response. In March 2020, the committee conducted COVID-19 awareness sessions for staff and students at Lilongwe and Blantyre campuses. The staff and students were oriented on recommended infection prevention measures and were demonstrated on WHO recommended handwashing techniques.
Service providers were also included in the COVID-19 training sessions to orient them on recommended infection prevention measures as they are part and parcel of the KCN community. Cleaners were taught on how to disinfect surfaces using appropriate disinfectants as these surfaces pose a risk for COVID-19 transmission to both staff and students.
Service providers training session at KCN Lilongwe campus
The college procured resources for infection prevention for both campuses which have been put on strategic points for handwashing. It is now a requirement for everyone entering the gates and any building at KCN to wash their hands as one way of reducing the transmission of COVID-19. In the same light, each staff member has been given hand sanitizer which will be refilled every two weeks.
KCN had an outreach program in four health centers and their catchment areas in Lilongwe District as part of the college’s social responsibility and community engagement. The activity, which was carried out in partnership with Lilongwe DHO, was sponsored by Lilongwe Water Board. During the program, KCN distributed hand washing supplies, gloves, chlorine and masks among other preventive resources. In addition, messages on COVID-19 signs, symptoms and prevention were given to the communities using Public Address System on a mobile vehicle.
KCN Staff during outreach program at Mtenthera Health Center