May In Brief

Speeches Shim

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
In Malawi, messages about Covid-19 preventive measures of handwashing and social distance have saturated the mainstream media, and in this interview photo, a University of Malawi radio reporter, Maina Makumba, interviews a colleague, Luke Nkhoma.
Gracious Mulinga/HP+ DRP


USAID Brings Covid-19 Stakeholders Together

Through a collaborative effort between ONSE, HC4L and LGAP, District Health Promotion Officers, District Information Officers and Community Health Officers will be brought together in regional meetings to review status of coordination of COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) activities and partners at district level, including successes, areas for improvement and lessons learned from ongoing implementation in line with national response plans and strategies. The Ministry of Health’s frequently asked questions and information materials have been updated and will be disseminated.

ADMARC Reforming

The Minister of Agriculture announced that ADMARC will split into two entities, including commercial and social functions. The parastatal has long been a drag on Government of Malawi coffers, widely known for corruption. Donors applaud the move as it fulfills a commitment to the World Bank, but most are skeptical it does not go far enough to solve the endemic political interference, particularly since the heads of its commercial and social units will report directly to the ADMARC CEO, Felix Jumbe.

NPC’s COVID-19 Cost-Benefit Analysis

Malawi’s National Planning Commission (NPC) conducted a cost-benefit analysis on moderate social restrictions for COVID-19. The analysis concluded that a moderate lockdown would likely reduce the net death toll by 6,800. However, it would also leave Malawi economically worse off with an economic cost of around $6.5 billion. It recommended that policymakers: 1) do not increase social restrictions more than what is already in place; 2) mitigate education loss and open schools when possible; and, 3) keep key health services funded and operating.

USAID Supports Ministry Covid-19 Guidelines Process

USAID provided input to the development of guidelines on provision of maternal and neonatal health and family planning services during COVID-19. In the context of anecdotal reports of increased maternal deaths and health worker fears about attending to AnteNatal Clinic (ANC) and maternity services at this time, UNFPA is supporting the Ministry of Health to develop these guidelines to ensure continuity of these critical services at this time.

New Principal Secretary for Energy

Mr Joseph Mwandidya is the new Principal Secretary for Energy. While he has no energy experience, but also been in the Government of Malawi for some time as PS for the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development. He was also the Deputy Director for the National Intelligence Bureau. He has a Political Science Degree from Georgia State University. The USAID staff have not yet worked with him in the past.