FPAM Orients Volunteers to Counter Covid-19 Misconceptions in Thyolo

The project is mitigating impact of Covid-19 on other diseases - Sitima The project is mitigating impact of Covid-19 on other diseases - Sitima - pic by Luka Beston

The Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) says there is a need to invest in interventions targeting the community structures in a bid to counter the existing misinformation on Covid-19 which has impacted negatively on HIV, TB and Malaria programmes.

Speaking to Zodiak Online in Thyolo on Thursday after orienting the Volunteer Frontline Workers on the same,  FPAM project coordinator, Saukira Sitima said Covid-19 vaccine has left misconceptions and myths which are restraining some communities to access medical care on other ailments.

"We thought of orienting these volunteer cadres to be updated and impart them with knowledge to take this message to their counterparts. And still more, there are also misconceptions about Covid-19 vaccine which has seen communities to  shunning from accessing health care services," he said.

Thyolo District Health Office Key population coordinator, Shupekire Kalelo Rodgers, believes the frontline workers which included some female sex workers, will take the correct information to the hard to reach areas.

Rodgers said: "these people have gotten the truth about the pandemic which will be key in convincing the communities in rural areas so that they can see the need to access Covid-19 vaccine and testing for HIV."

Meanwhile, FPAM through a three-year Covid-19  Response Mechanisms project, with support from the Global Fund and ActionAid, has also distributed 16 bicycles and 86 washing buckets to the volunteers and health facilities in the district.

Thyolo District Health Promotion Officer, Fanuel Makina and a volunteer, Shina Bisiyasi has lauded the gesture which will aid their mobility challenges for the volunteers.

"It was very hard for these workers to move around disseminating the right information without the bicycles. We believe they will now ably help us to dispel the misconceptions surrounding Covid-19," Makina said.

The project is in 11 districts, namely Karonga, Nkhatabay, Nkhotakota, Kasungu, Mchinji, Dowa, Salima, Dedza, Ntcheu, Thyolo and Mulanje.

The project which started in 2021 and expected to end in December 2023, is targeting the community structures both key and general populations for instance, female sex workers, people living with HIV, mother groups, youths, community based organisations (CBOs) and expert clients.

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