The Malawi Government says it has almost won the battle against polio as it has intensified immunisation and the coverage is over 90 percent.
Minister of gender, disability and child welfare Jean Kalilani said this at an event held in New York and organised by Global Citizen to commemorate Commonwealth Day and highlight the role of Commonwealth to achieve sustainable development.
The event was aimed at discussing gender equality and polio eradication through women empowerment.
Kalilani asked leaders to deliberately put in place legal instruments which will promote gender parity on the care of persons with polio.
She said whenever polio hits a home, women are the ones who carry the burden of taking care of the patient which also affect the ability of the women to contribute to the economic empowerment of their families.
“Polio comes in different stages of a human life as long as the infected person has not been immunised at the right time. The unfortunate part is that polio attacks children at times adults. Regardless of whosoever is affected, the women bear the burden of care for the affected and if the affected person is a girl child she is discriminated. At the same time, the care work limits women’s ability to contribute to the economic empowerment of their families,” said Kalilani.
She added that Malawi has gone a step further in harmonising the pieces of legislation on the age of the child by amending the constitution to be in line with the Child Care Protection and Justice Act, Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act and the Convention of the Rights of a Child as anybody below the age of 18.
Kalilani further said that the harmonisation of the child’s age gives Malawi a rallying for intensified vaccinations to reach 100 percent to all the children in Malawi.
According to Kalilani, Malawi is committed to achieve 90:90:90 target on ending AIDS by 2020 and ensure that the 50:50 gender parity is achieved by 2030.