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Ministry of Health Lauds Local Production of PPEs

Minister of Health, Khumbize Chiponda has hailed the involvement of Small and Medium Enterprises and local colleges for the production of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), She said this Saturday during the launch of an initiative called Local Production of Covid-19 Supplies Project in Blantyre.

Chiponda said the launching of the project has been timely to respond to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are grateful that we have this project and the most important thing is that we are producing washable face masks and inversion of nebulizers and oxygen ventilators.”

“We are proud of our colleges like Kamuzu University Health Sciences, Malawi University of Science and Technology, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mzuzu University and the Malawi University of Business and Applied Science,” the Minister said.

She called on local producers to collaborate in the newly launched initiative to ensure the country’s self-sustaining in PPE’s production.

“You have seen what Covid-19 has done, last year this time around, most of the countries were on lockdown, they could not make anything and borders were closed and some countries are starting to go into lockdown as well because of the third wave,”

“It is very important that as a country, we have to be self-sustaining especially in the production of PPEs. Covid 19 has no cure but the only thing, we can do and which we advocate as a country is a prevention through wearing masks, use of sanitisers and disinfectants,” Chiponda said, observing that the country’s public colleges are capable of producing more than 17,000 litres of sanitisers.

Chairperson for Local Production of Covid-19 Supplies Project, David Mkwambisi said the initiative allows faculties and students to advance science, technology and innovation in producing items that will support in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are building from the first phase of the project where we produced a lot of material like the face masks. We expect a lot of capacity building to the universities such that we’re expecting quality products that can be on the market,” he said, adding that the project was meant to strengthen the partnership between the public and the government to address people’s needs.

Mkwambisi said the project was contributing to Malawi 2063 especially pillar One and Two which is industrialization and innovation, expressing hope that the innovations that are coming from the project would be commercialized and create jobs.

Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Iwakiri Satoshi said the project would boost domestic production of PPEs and other Covid-19 supplies, apart from contributing to the country’s economic growth.

“I hope this project will enable Malawi to become a regional supply centre of anti-Covid-19 equipment in the near future,” he said while appealing to all implementing partners to use project funds for its intended purposes.

The Japanese Government has committed a grant of US$1, 388, 363 towards the project.

With Japanese Government support, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Accelerator Lab and Private Sector Development Programmes, support public and private organizations to produce Covid-19 supplies locally, according to UNDP Resident Representative, Shigeki Komatsubara.

Written By: Yamikani Yapuwa-MANA

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