By Watipaso Mzungu

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Concerned with a dramatic surge in new COVID-19 infection rate, the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust has devised a “market-to-market” approach in its COVID-19 awareness campaign.

A NICE volunteer disseminating COVID-19 messages at Chadza Trading Centre in the outskirts of Lilongwe City–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu

Through this approach, NICE officials and volunteers are taking COVID-19 prevention messages from one market to the other, emphasizing the need for Malawians not to relax their preventive measures.

Speaking at Chadza Trading Centre on Friday, NICE Media and Public Relations Officer, Grace Hara, said the Public Trust is concerned with the sudden rise in the infection rate.

Hara said the campaign is therefore aimed at raising awareness on the need to get vaccinated against the virus.

“Awareness campaigns are the most effective way to raise awareness on COVID-19 vaccine. Hence, NICE Public Trust has undertaken to go to every corner of this country to encourage people to prevent the spread of the pandemic as well as getting vaccinated,” she said.

One of the vendors at Chadza Trading Centre, Yusuf Zaipa, complained about the long distances people have to walk to Nathenje Health Centre to receive the vaccine.

Zaipa proposed that healthcare workers should start conducting outreach vaccine programmes, stressing this would help to get everyone covered.

Bwaila Hospital Environmental Health Officer, Emmanuel Kampingo, observed that the slow Covid-19 vaccine uptake in rural areas remains slow because of perceptions people have towards immunization.

Kampingo therefore expressed hope that the awareness campaigns will help to demystify the myths and prompt more people to go for vaccination.

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