Malawi: dream bigDream AfricaMalawiHealthcoronavirusCovid-19
How the DREAM Program is crucial for the control of the Pandemic and the development of NHS
Frontline in Combating the COVID-19
Even in the small African country, so little in the public eye, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread, albeit with less intensity compared to the first wave. However, the country’s health facilities are insufficient to deal with the emergency and for this reason the DREAM Programme plays a decisive role in containing the contagion. Blantyre’s only lab analyzed 20% of swabs made in Malawi and is the first for number of tests processed.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the DREAM Program of the Community of Sant'Egidio has put itself at the service of the African country, performing PCR tests to detect coronavirus infection. Diagnosing symptomatic cases and testing people, especially the numerous Malawians returning from South Africa due to the economic crisis, has allowed to contain the contagion. From the outset, the DREAM Programme plays a crucial role in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of patients. Thanks to the collaboration of the Ministry of Health, the program covers the needs of the central and southern areas, the most populated areas of Malawi.
International Lab Accreditation
Recently, the ISO certification has been obtained by the DREAM laboratories in Balaka and Blantyre. Indeed, those are the first laboratories to receive international accreditation in Malawi, where facilities operate in underdeveloped areas with electricity and water supply not always guaranteed. In addition to long years of work and collaboration between European and African biologists, the standard has been reached with technological innovations, as in the case of Balaka, which is located in a deeply rural area.
A meeting with the Health Minister
The new Health Minister Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda praised the activities of the laboratories, during a meeting held in early November with a delegation of DREAM and Dr Rose Nyerenda, director of the HIV Unit. In addition to interventions for the treatment and prevention of AIDS, the meeting presented the other activities of the Sant'Egidio programme: the treatment of non-communicable diseases, telemedicine, prevention and treatment of female cancers. New health challenges in Malawi and future collaborations with the Ministry of Health for the new services DREAM is activating for neurology, epilepsy, audiology and early diagnosis of breast cancer were discussed. All of it keeps enriching the Community’s almost twenty-year contribution to Malawi’s public health.