Gift Mawindo, the chairperson of Mkhumba Youth Network, extends gratitude to the Creative Center for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) for implementing the COVID-19 Response Mechanism project, funded by the Global Fund through ActionAid International Malawi.
Mawindo highlights the transformative impact of project trainings, particularly Community Led Monitoring, on altering the mindset of young people in Traditional Authority Mkhumba regarding COVID-19 and vaccines like Faiza and AstraZeneca. He notes that many youths harbored misconceptions, viewing COVID-19 as a population-reducing, world-ending, or even satanic force.
The introduction of the COVID-19 Response Mechanism project enabled Mkhumba Youth Club to stage informative plays, dispelling myths and educating the community on the virus and preventive measures. Mawindo considers this initiative successful in increasing awareness and understanding of COVID-19.
The youth club extended its reach to 17 clubs in the traditional authority, including Matekenya, Bwanaisa, Mkhwezalamba, Tisangalale, and Kachere, facilitated by bicycles provided through the project to overcome mobility challenges.
Mawindo emphasizes the misconception between the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and TB, leading to fear of seeking health treatment. The youth club, utilizing the bicycles, visited TB patients to educate them on distinguishing between the two diseases, both affecting the lungs.
Through the COVID-19 Response Mechanism, the youth club received Personal Preventive Equipment (PPE) such as soaps, water buckets, and hand sanitizers. These resources were distributed to youths and others in the area after thorough awareness sessions on COVID-19 prevention.
In a collaborative effort, CRECCOM, as a Sub-Sub-Recipient for the COVID-19 Response Mechanism project, partnered with Action Aid Malawi to implement non-biomedical activities and community interventions across 12 districts in the Southern Region of Malawi. The project aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on existing HIV, TB, and malaria programs while responding to the immediate crisis and enhancing health and community systems.