The Fight Against Corona Virus in Malawi: A Review of Challenges and Opportunities in the Health Sector
Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) is a pandemic that has affected the whole w=orld. Malawi has also been greatly overwhelmed by the pandemic as shown by the increased number of confirmed cases, increased deaths and increased number of people affected by the pandemic directly and indirectly. This review was aimed at exploring challenges and opportunities faced by the health sector due to the COVID- 19 pandemic in Malawi. A review of relevant published literature, official documents and available COVID-19 general information was done using online search engines such as Google scholar. The review showed that the pandemic’s complete eradication is faced with a number of challenges ranging from limited test kits and centres to stigmatization of COVID-19 suspects. Reports of lack of test kits and PPE in public hospitals have been common knowledge since the first wave in April 2020. Stigmatization and misinformation has led to public denial of the disease, consequently resulting in late reporting at hospitals by patients hence many deaths. Conversely, the pandemic has kept the country’s medical and public health personnel actively involved in research and literature review in order to understand COVID-19. This is evidenced by science based information regarding the disease passed on to the general public by the health sector. While the pandemic has put the world medical research and vaccine development teams in top gear, local health personnel have ably analyzed different vaccine options which has enabled them to advise government. Health facilities have also amassed substantial infrastructure, financial and human resources from both public and private sectors. These resources will further propel public health care since they are in form of additional beds space, beds, and COVID-19 relevant medical equipment. COVID-19 devastation in Malawi points to the need for better health care preparedness against future pandemics
Key-words: COVID-19, Stigmatisation, Health Facilities, Pandemic, Malawi, Review.