Gender Ministry urges sex workers to leave streets

.. Plans to remove street kids, provides helpline for abuse victims

The Ministry of Gender, Child Development and Community Development has urged all sex workers to leave the streets to prevent the coronavirus.

In a statement on Thursday, Gender Child Development and Community Development Mary Thom Navicha said all sex workers should move out of the streets to avoid contracting Covid-19.

She also noted that street connected children are at high at high risk of contracting the corona virus hence they should be removed from the streets.

According to Navicha, the children should be immediately reintegrated with their families while those who cannot be reintegrated will be given shelter, food and other essential needs by her ministry.

On business groups and savings and loan groups, usually known as Bank Mmudzi or Banki Mkhonde, the minister said they should go cashless.

“[They should] avoid meetings and instead communicate by phone and make savings and repayments direct to bank accounts or other non-cash facilities such as Airtel Money, and Mpamba. They should go cashless,” she said.

In the statement, Navicha noted that cases of child and gender based violence might increase during this time. She advised victims to dial helpline number 5600, and child abuse the victims to dial the child helpline 116.

“In addition, community victim support units should continue to provide essential services using telephone and with safety precautions. Members of the public are encouraged to look out for neighbours and individuals at risk and call the help line mentioned above,” she said.

The minister also announced that the ministry has paid cash for 4 months from March to June 2020 to all beneficiaries of social cash transfer to meet their needs during this difficult period.

Malawi has recorded nine cases of the coronavirus and the most recent case has been confirmed this morning.