The Scottish Parliament’s Malawi Cross Party Group and the UK Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group came together on Monday the 25th of January 2021, for the highly anticipated joint digital meeting to look specifically at the worsening Covid-19 situation in our country and explore what additional support can be offered to Malawi by the UK and Scotland.
The meeting was well patronize with over 250 key individuals, organizations and Parliamentarians from both Malawi and Scotland attending the meeting.
First to address the meeting was Hon Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, the Government of Malawi’s Minister of Health, outlined various challenges the Malawi Government is facing in the fight against COVID-19. She applauded the health workers for the excellent work they are doing. She called upon all Malawians to remain positive and follow COVID-19 guidelines.
The Scottish Government’s Minister for International Development, Ms Jenny Gilruth MSP, spoke about Scotland’s work to date supporting Malawi’s Covid-19 response and reaffirmed the SG’s support to Malawi.
Ms Habiba Osman, the Executive Secretary for Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) also shared on issues that calls for urgent attention including the possibility of rolling out of Comprehensive Civic Education Campaign on COVID-19, Mental Health Programs to support those affected and infected and emphasized the need for a well-articulated Master Plan for the Vaccines among others.
Dr Mtumbuka, Chief Executive Officer for Ubunthu and former Board Chair for Malawi Scottish Partnership bemoaned lack of oxygen cylinders in hospitals which is complicating the process of treating COVID-19 patients and called upon stakeholders to assist in this area.
There were commitments that were made by the SMP, the Holyrood Malawi CPG and the Westminster Malawi APPG on Practical support as Malawi fights Covid-19, Two-way sharing of information and learning and Advocacy for timely and equitable vaccines.