Malawi rolls out Covid drug administration

George Jobe

The Ministry of Health has disclosed that it has started administering a Covid drug called Paxlovid, which cures mild and moderate conditions of the disease.

The ministry says they have in stock a consignment of the drug that can be administered to about 700 people in a pilot phase being implemented in Lilongwe, Zomba and Mangochi.

Ministry spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe said in an interview that the drug, which has been manufactured by Pfizer, has been authenticated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).


Chikumbe said Malawi is being supported by the United States Agency for International Development in the pilot phase.

He added that there are conditions that have been set which include that only those that are at high risk of getting very sick or dying from the disease would be eligible to receive the medicine.

“People should not be afraid of the drug because it has been authenticated by WHO and we are expecting more [quantities] in a few weeks. Remember that Covid vaccine uptake is as low as 30 percent and we believe that the coming in of this drug will help us deal with the disease,” Chikumbe said.


He said the choice of the three districts was based on data, which indicate that they were the most hit by the pandemic.

Chikumbe said the ministry is working on sensitising people to issues related to the new drug, bearing in mind that old messages carried information that Covid has no cure.

Meanwhile, quality health advocate George Jobe has welcomed the development.

He, however, appealed for caution among people.

“As the ministry says, this is a pilot phase,” Jobe said.

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