The Government has set aside K33 billion for Covid 19 response including the purchasing of essential medical equipment.
The revelation by the Health Minister Khumbize Chiponda comes as the government is facing growing criticism over its response to the pandemic.
The criticism is based on the shortage of essential equipment to help Covid 19 patients in public hospitals across the country.
There is a shortage of oxygen cylinders and flow metres, as well as inadequate staff to effectively handle the growing number of Covid patients.
Health workers have warned that effective 1 March they will stage a sit-in over the shortage of staff and Personal Protective Equipment–PPEs.
Critics question the government’s response, suggesting that the alleged hefty allowances paid to the Presidential Taskforce on Covid 19 should be used to procure the much needed medical equipment.
“We have done a number of things which we will publish, so the people will know,” said Kandodo-Chiponda.
She has indicated that so far, K7 Billion has been given to the health ministry to cater for risk allowances for health workers and procurement of PPEs,
She also added that they are giving about K5 billion to education to care of the sector.
The situation has forced Malawians in diaspora and within the country to launch a fundraising drive to buy the essential medical equipment.
“It’s not like we don’t have money, we have the money, but we appreciate the support, and that Malawians are taking the initiative to support government efforts as well,” Kandodo-Chiponda emphasized.
Meanwhile, the Malawians in the diaspora led by Stanley Onjezani Kenani, through the fundraising drive have so far managed to raise over K11 million towards assisting in the country’s efforts to control the spread of the virus.