Aside from the excruciating pain they have to deal with, they live in a country where there is no specialized treatment for the condition.
Hundreds of cancer patients in Malawi are travelling abroad in search of treatment, in the process the cash-strapped government spend in excess of US2 million annually. On the other hand, individuals that cannot be included on the state list spend in excess of K30 million.
The Malawi Union for The Blind says despite efforts in promoting rights of people with visual impairments, access to information is still a challenge among them calling for swift action by authorities to address this.
The organization’s Executive Director Ezekiel Kumwenda says this limit them to be independent and puts them behind development thereby calling on government to ensure that important documents such as education books and the constitution are made accessible to them in braille form.
He has made the remarks as the country joins the rest of the world in commemorating World Braille Day today.
Kumwenda says for instance, people with visual impairments fail to progress in education as they cannot fully access information.
He said: “If it is put in the constitution, it means education information will be made available and in an accessible format. This means learners with visual impairments will have text books in an accessible format and even economic information should be made in accessible format which will make them to be independent other than what is happening at the moment.”
He adds that: “for Braille to be produced it needs a lot of things that is why we are calling on government to make sure that the resources are made available and the things should be affordable. Some of the products are not locally made so we want government to completely exempt taxes on these devices.”
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Jean Sendeza is optimistic that once the president signs the Persons with Disability Bill which was passed in parliament in December 2023, most of the challenges persons with disabilities are facing will be history.
She said: “We have recently passed a Bill in parliament which will be assented to shortly by the president. This Bill has taken care the issues of information to each and every person with disabilities. It will take care of information and infrastructure issues so that no person with disabilities is left behind.”
This year, the day is being commemorated under the theme “Empowering Through Inclusion and Diversity.”
The Ministry of Health says the country reduced malaria cases from 6.1 million in 2016 to 4.2 million cases in 2022 and malaria deaths from 4,000 to 1,829 in 2022.
President Lazarus Chakwera has led Malawians in viewing of the body of late veteran politician John Zenus Ungapake Tembo at the MCP headquarters in Lilongwe.
Political analysts have thrashed an idea by the Democratic Progressive Party DPP that president Lazarus Chakwera should step down or risk being impeached by parliament.
The analysts have told us that despite the Tonse led administration not delivering several of its campaign promises, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party DPP is not being realistic in its fresh demands.
One of the analysts, Wonderful Mkhutche says the approach DPP has taken will not bring the change Malawians want, as it lacks solutions to challenges facing people.
“The current government is not working according to its promises and our expectations, but for DPP to go ahead to call for the president to step down or even go for an impeachment, that’s overthinking or overstepping because even if the president was removed today, DPP is not an option for power,” he said.
He adds; “At the briefing they were not offering any alternatives. They were not presenting ideas, as to how they could have handled the issue. They were simply talking about how things were during their time.”
Another analyst Chimwemwe Tsitsi is of the view that, the party missed an opportunity by not having leader of opposition in parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa at the presser.
“I would expect the leader of opposition in parliament, Dr Kondwani Nankhumwa to have been among the people that addressed the press conference. And to show that leadership as the leader of opposition for Malawians to see the seriousness the opposition has,” he said.
On Monday, DPP senior officials held a press briefing in Blantyre where they discussed challenges Malawians are facing.
On Monday, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) senior officials Dr. Dalitso Kabambe, Shadric Namalomba, Mary Navicha, Bright Msaka and Leonard Chimbanga held a press briefing dubbed “Enough is Enough; Chakwera Must Fall”.
At the briefing, the party made fresh calls for president Lazarus Chakwera to step down, or risk facing an impeachment from parliament. There were also allegations that, president Lazarus Chakwera and his Tonse led government are already working on rigging the 2025 general elections.
In response, the government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu laughed of the claims, saying that rigging is not part of their tactic.
Some Malawians are complaining of an increase in attacks orchestrated by street connected children, especially in Blantyre city where they are causing panic among residents.
A country Climate and Development Report by the World Bank says Malawi’s rising debt could stifle efforts to implement the national development blueprint - Malawi 2063 - especially in financing climate-change-related actions.
Eduation experts say the country needs to do more in the Tertiary Education Selection as 53 percent of eligible students who applied to public universities have been left out, arguing this number is high and could affect their right to education.
The Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) is optimistic that the country’s exports will increase by 20 percent this year, among others, thanks to exposure of more exporters to international markets.
The World Bank has approved about K146 billion ($1m) for Malawi to help the country improve water and sanitation services and solid waste management services in the commercial city of Blantyre.