By Mike Gwadani
Ministry of Gender, Child Development and Community Development has announced measures that are aimed at preventing its clients from contacting and spreading of Corona virus.
Speaking when she announced the measures Minister Responsible Mary Navitcha outlined among other measures that all child care centers in collaboration with District Social Welfare Officers should immediately assess and recommend for reintegration of children that may be reintegrated without posing risk for their safety, health, nutrition and general well being.
“Children should be provided mental health and psychosocial support to support the transition to the new environment” said Navitcha.
She said in order to avoid overcrowding in place of detention, Principals of reformatory centres should quickly assess and recommend for release children who committed minor offences or those that have shown good behaviour.
“The list of assessed children should be submitted to the Chairperson of the Child Case Review Board for possible release as one way of decongesting reformatory centres” she said.
Navitcha further outlined more measures that the Ministry has put in place such as the closure of all training institutions under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Community Development, and appeal to all sex workers to move out of the street, Bank Nkhonde members should interact their transactions using mobile money, suspension of all children gatherings.
“These include all Early Childhood Development Centres, Community Based Care Centres, and Child Corners, gathering for religious purposes, learning, life skills activities and activities in child participation forums.
“All adult literacy classes have been suspended across the country to avoid the spread of the virus. Learners have been encouraged to continue reading their Chuma ndi Moyo primers in their homes with assistance from family members so that they continue learning”
She further said in an effort to protect street connected Children the Ministry has directed all the Districts Social Welfare Officers in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to remove all street connected children and immediately reintegrate them with their families and provide shelter, food and other essential needs to children who may not be immediately reintegrated while assessments are underway.
Navitcha further announced that Ministry has decided to pay transfers for 4 months from March to Jun 2020 to all beneficiaries of social cash transfer to meet their needs during this difficult period.
“Payments have already started in some districts and others will follow soon. District Assemblies have been advised to follow sanitary measures in all pay points and ensure observance of the social distance and recommended numbers” said Navitcha.
She also said the Ministry realize that due to the temporary ban cases of domestic violence might increase and has since come up with a toll free number through which the victim might contact the relevant authority.
” In case of gender Based Violence victims are advised to dial helpline no5600, and for child abuse the victims are encouraged to dial the child helpline 116″said she
Malawi has so far registered 9 cases of confirmed Covid-19 cases with One death.