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The health policy response to COVID-19 in Malawi

Mzumara, Grace W, Chawani, Marlen, Sakala, Melody, Mwandira, Lily, Phiri, Elias, Milzani, Edith, Phiri, Mphatso, Kazanga, Isabel, O'Byrne, Thomasena, Zulu, Eliya M, Mitambo, Collins, Divala, Titus, Squire, Bertie ORCID: and Iroh Tam, Pui-Ying ORCID: (2021) 'The health policy response to COVID-19 in Malawi'. BMJ Global Health, Vol 6, Issue 5, e006035.

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Malawi declared a state of national disaster due to the COVID-19 pandemic on 20th March 2020 and registered its first confirmed coronavirus case on the 2 April 2020. The aim of this paper was to document policy decisions made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic from January to August 2020. We reviewed policy documents from the Public Health Institute of Malawi, the Malawi Gazette, the Malawi Ministry of Health and Population and the University of Oxford Coronavirus Government Response Tracker. We found that the Malawi response to the COVID-19 pandemic was multisectoral and implemented through 15 focused working groups termed clusters. Each cluster was charged with providing policy direction in their own area of focus. All clusters then fed into one central committee for major decisions and reporting to head of state. Key policies identified during the review include international travel ban, school closures at all levels, cancellation of public events, decongesting workplaces and public transport, and mandatory face coverings and a testing policy covering symptomatic people. Supportive interventions included risk communication and community engagement in multiple languages and over a variety of mediums, efforts to improve access to water, sanitation, nutrition and unconditional social- cash transfers for poor urban and rural households.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 105 Epidemiology
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 525 General works
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 540 National and state health administration
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Viral Respiratory Tract Infections. Respirovirus Infections > WC 505 Viral respiratory tract infections
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Clinical Sciences & International Health > Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Programme (MLW)
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Debbie Jenkins
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2021 10:57
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2021 13:42


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