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Former presidents speak on Covid-19

Joyce Banda


African former Heads of State have appealed to the World Bank and other international organisations to have a plan that will condense the social and economic effects of Covid-19.

In a statement signed by former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, the former heads of State say due to weak healthcare bases in Africa, there is need for serious measures to address the effects of the disease which has already killed over 47,000 people globally.

In an interview Thursday, former president of Malawi, Joyce Banda, said they have written the document as one way of appealing to international organisations to help the poor in African countries in the wake of Covid-19.

“We are looking at how this pandemic is spreading globally and how many people are dying every day and how it has affected countries with stronger healthcare systems than those in Africa,” Banda said.

She added that there are organisations like United Nations, African Union and European Union that can pool together resources for African countries.

“I request the government to be proactive and stop politicising this pandemic. Other countries in the region provide frequent briefings so that their people know what is happening,” Banda said.

Meanwhile, Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) has backed calls by some stakeholders, including the Human Rights Consultative Committee, for the government to recruit more healthcare workers in case coronavirus gets its way into the country.

Mhen Executive Director George Jobe says this is something they have been advocating for and engaging the government to consider.

“We have always asked the government to recruit all the healthcare workers that qualified and graduated but have not been given jobs. That should not just be for coronavirus but for the sake of universal health coverage,” he said.

The vacancy rate in Malawi’s health sector is at 52 percent.

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