Paramount Chiefs Call for Increased COVID Vaccine Awareness
Two prominent traditional leaders, Paramount Chief Lundu and Inkosi ya Makhosi Gomani V have implored the government to increase civic education tactics to motivate the majority rural poor to go for Covid 19 vaccination.
Lundu and Gomani told Zodiak on Tuesday that most villagers are illiterate and require consistent engagement for them to make a decision.
Paramount Chief Lundu said some people are confused with the concurrent management of two vaccines, so there is a need to reach out to the people with information.
“Bringing the vaccine to the people is a good thing but there is confusion among people. Some have already received the Astra Zeneca vaccine and now the government is bringing Johnson and Johnson and people now want to get both this is dangerous to the body which is not good.
“In Malawi you know many people have not been to school and to understand certain things is very difficult. In the villages we have this agricultural van that goes around educating people.
“It should be going around, you know, doing the same educating the people on vaccines. This is people’s lives we are talking about and we should not play with that,” explained Lundu.
Echoing Lundu, Inkosi ya Makhosi Gomani 5 has urged the government to increase civic education tactics so as to motivate more people to go for the vaccination.
“Awareness is actually very important. Awareness is not only for government officials but all stakeholders involved like traditional leaders, health officials and right to the last person of the citizenry. We all have to come together and fight the pandemic,” said Gomani.
The chiefs request comes at the time when the ministry of health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe admitted that they currently are experiencing low uptake of Jonson and Jonson vaccine warning people that the pandemic is still there.
Meanwhile Blantyre District Health Office rolled off its outreach vaccination exercise on Saturday with Government Health Ambassador Maziko Matemba applauding the exercise but pointing out the need to invest more money in the fight against the pandemic.
Matemba was optimistic that taking the vaccine to the people will allow even those who are always busy to take the vaccine and go back to their daily duties without much inconvenience and in turn meet government’s target of vaccinating 11 million people by December.