COVID-19 Coordination & SMP Health Forum
We were honoured to welcome SMP and MaSP members, key stakeholders and partners in Malawi to join our 14th Scotland-Malawi Covid-19 Coordination meeting combined with the SMP Health Forum.
This meeting included comprehensive presentations on COVID-19 from Malawi’s Health Secretary, Dr Charles Mwansambo and the Co-Chair of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr Wilfred Nkhoma. The meeting began with the sharing of inspiring progress and plans from SMP members in our Health Forum.
We heard about:
- The Blantyre-Blantyre Project: the successful collaboration between Malawi’s College of Medicine and the University of Glasgow widely recognised as an exemplar of North/South partnership - Professor Mwapatsa Mipando, College of Medicine (CoM) of the University of Malawi
- The Virtual Doctors in Malawi: a UK tele-medicine Charity which has provided over half a million pounds of medical expertise remotely in Zambia in places where there are no Doctors and plans to extend support in Malawi - Graham Precey, Chairman, the Virtual Doctors
- Professor Paul Garside – an instrumental partner in the Blantyre-Blantyre Project who praised Prof Mipando’s leadership and colleagues in Malawi and Glasgow - The University of Glasgow
- A comprehensive Covid-19 update from Dr Charles Mwansambo, Secretary for Health, Malawi
- Highlights from The National Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Strategy and Plan July 2021 - June 2022 from Dr. Wilfred Nkhoma, Co-Chair of the President’s Covid-19 taskforce
- Oxygen Supply in Malawi - Alberto Gregori, Chair, Scotland-Malawi Oxygen Supply Coordination
- Faith Partners’ Research – Collaboration Pilot to encourage local pop-up vaccination clinics - including Church of Scotland, University of Edinburgh, University of Malawi, Chancellor College, CCAP, Starfish, Scottish Government, SMP - Lindirabe Gareta
- Sharing and collaboration between Covid Scotland-Malawi initiatives.
- Q&A sessions
Thanking all of the brilliant Speakers, SMP CEO, David Hope-Jones summarised:
- All of us are delighted to see the ‘third wave’ of COVID in Malawi starting to tip-down, both in positive test results and hospital admissions, but it is sobering that hospital COVID beds in some areas are all still full
- It is brilliant to hear of the plan to vaccinate Malawi’s eleven million over 18s and encouraging to note 704,000 vaccine donations have come through the African Union, COVAX and India and that 1.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been ordered. This clearly leaves a very considerable shortfall in vaccine doses needed
- Access to the Vaccine and Vaccine Hesitancy have previously been identified as two major issues. All speakers in the COVID section of this August meeting have recognised that hesitancy has significantly dropped
- The National Preparedness and Response Strategy has been clearly and articulately set out by our impressive Speakers including its short, medium and long-term strategic objectives. We have heard that it is a strategy which will cost $361m. $276m is still needed and it is hugely important that the assistance needed is heard and acted upon.
- Incredible work has been done by the Scotland-Malawi Oxygen Co-ordination Group and huge credit is due to its Chair Alberto Gregori. Over £40k was raised but Alberto made this go so far, including fixing half a million dollars’ worth of Oxygen Concentrators in Malawi. The Scottish Government has made a valuable donation through KIDS’ OR for Oxygen
- Wonderful to hear from Lindarabe, the impact, research and depth of understanding of the collaboration.
- Tremendous to learn more about SMP member Virtual Doctors’ work in Zambia and hear about their collaborative approach and hopes to extend that support into Malawi.
A full time-stamped video and all speaker presentations are below.