Queen Elizabeth of England has awarded the Commonwealth Points of Light award to Malawi's COVID Response Private Citizens' initiative for its work in supporting the Malawi Government in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit Malawi extremely hard evidenced by record number of admissions and deaths.
The health system was overwhelmed without enough cylinders and concentrators, essential for the supply of oxygen to COVID-19 patients, as well as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and diagnostic kits.
The Private Citizens Initiative spearheaded a crowd funding campaign and managed to raise nearly 207,000 pounds to enable the purchase of oxygen cylinders and associate items, PPE and assorted items hospital equipment for distribution in main hospitals across Malawi.
British High Commissioner to Malawi David Beer said in a statement: “COVID-19 particularly the second wave, has had a serious impact on Malawi through loss of loved ones and damage to the economy. At a time when the resilience of the country’s health system was seriously tested, this citizen’s initiative complemented government’s efforts to fight the pandemic in a timely and very effective way. Fighting COVID-19 needs every one of us to act, and the efforts of the citizens’ initiative should serve an inspiration to all.”
Deputy Lead OrganiSer for the initiative Thandiwe Majenda Hara said: “The initiative brought together primary school children, alumni from secondary schools and universities, struggling single parents hard working small businesses, big banks, the religious fraternity, the media political figures plus Malawians at home and abroad. All these diverse individuals had just one mission between them. Saving Malawians from the deadly virus.”
The initiative also brought food to health works, fixed ambulances and is on course to repair some damages infrastructure in hospitals that have expressed the greatest need.