World Food Programme (WFP) has handed over a containerised laboratory facility at Chiponde Border Post in Mangochi District for testing and screening people for Covid-19.
Speaking on Saturday during the handover, WFP country director Paul Turnbull said the facility will facilitate screening and testing for truck drivers and other travellers at the border post.
“WFP has already been instrumental in donating oxygen concentrators, cylinders and personal protective equipment in the country,” he said.
The containerised laboratory at Chiponde in Mangochi
Turnbull said the UN agency was still committed to supporting government’s efforts in responding to Covid-19 in various ways.
“WFP is well-known for its humanitarian food relief programmes, but this time we are coming in to support the health and logistics sector,” he said.
He said WFP and its partners have also supported the establishment of laboratories at Mbilima Border Post in Chitipa and Songwe Border Post in Karonga.
Deputy Minister of Health Enock Phale commended WFP for supporting the Covid-19 response.
He said the facilities have come at the right time when the country continues to register Covid-19 cases.
“Covid-19 still exists. We need to continue screening and testing people to contain the disease,” he said.
Phale also said the facility will serve communities around Chiponde.
Malawi Revenue Authority Chiponde station manager Jacob Kamtambe said the new laboratory was ideal and relevant to the border.
“Besides testing and screening travellers, staff working at the border will also benefit from the facility,” he said.
One of the community members from Chiponde, Adson Ndeule said he will encourage his colleagues to take advantage of the facility to get tested for Covid-19.
“I also want to urge my friends to continue observing preventive measures to contain Covid-19,” he said.
As of Sunday, Malawi had cumulatively registered 87 980 Covid-19 cases and 2 680 deaths.