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Malawi gov’t must walk talk on Ebola Virus

MZUZU (MaraviPost) — From the look of things, and from what the media is reporting around the world, Ebola is no joke. It is a crisis, a big health crisis that must be handled with utmost attention and care.

Sierra Leone has declared it a state of emergency, so too Nigeria. Health braniacs from around the world are meeting in Geneva, Switzerland to brainstorm on how to contain the catastrophe. The tumult revolving around the matter is standalone evidence that the Ebola Virus is no-nonsense.

It is baffling, however, that the Malawi government is handling the otherwise frightening health disaster with a grain of salt. By Tuesday, what the Ministry of Health had managed to put together as regards the pandemic was to say that “it was working on a budget to contain the Ebola virus.”

According to Henry Chimbali, Ministry of Health spokesperson, they “are aware that one of the most important actions to take is to educate our public as well as health workers to be able to offer correct information, and also be able to recognise the basic signs and symptoms of Ebola.”

But, it seems, for Chimbali, the civic educating he was talking about ended there. Nothing worth it, as regards Ebola, from the Ministry of Health, has cooked up so far.

Had it not been for some viral social media reports of an Ebola case at ABC Clinic in the capital Lilongwe, our Minister of Health and her whole crew would still have been snoring at their posh residencies in Area 10 or 47, watching DSTV, while people in Titi in Chitipa and Pusi in Karonga froze in their pants about what they are hearing about the virus – thanks to the many radio stations.

Sad! The whole health ministry held a press briefing Thursday telling Malawians to keep it low, and defending itself why it was only intensifying screenings in the country’s two international airports. Really? Are we saying, as a nation, that our borders in Dedza, Nsanje, Mwanza, Karonga and Chitipa are safe?

We, at MaraviPost, would like to see the Ministry of Health walk the talk on the Ebola virus. If the claims they are making that they have enough resources to contain the virus are true, let the Ministry roll out sensitization campaigns for Malawians. So far, we have not heard a single message from the Ministry even on state broadcaster’s MBC Radio 1.

We, at MaraviPost, just hope that requisite protective gear is being sought, and everything is under control. Or are we going to borrow from Zimbabwe, the way we did with lamps during those chaotic May 20 elections?

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