NGO says streets kids in Malawi at risk of contracting coronavirus

Step Kids Awareness (STEKA), a child care institution, has expressed fear that children particularly street kids in the country are at a high risk of contracting coronavirus should cases escalate hence the need for government and its partners to prioritise children in the fight against the Covid-19.

Executive Director for STEKA Godknows Maseko expressed the concern over the weekend at a media briefing in Blantyre.

Maseko said of particular concern are street kids who cannot adhere to social distancing and hand washing preventive measures due to the congested environment in which they live.

He also appealed to parents and guardians in supervision of children in the country to prevent them from being exposed to the threat of contracting the coronavirus, saying all children must be kept indoors.

Maseko then applauded government’s decision of starting withdrawing all street kids from the country’s major townships, saying the move will go a long way in preventing them from the threat of contracting the deadly virus.

Speaking in an interview, Blantyre District Social Welfare Officer Stephano Joseph said the district has engaged in community sensitizations in hotspot townships that supply children to the streets such as Bangwe, Gangala and Chilobwe in Blantyre.

He said the campaign is aimed at lobbying children who have parents or dependents to withdraw themselves voluntarily from the streets.

The Blantyre District Social welfare officer said children without homes are being taken to various child care institutions for support, formal rehabilitation and reintegration upon being withdrawn from the streets.

 

There are over 2,000 street kids in Blantyre City alone.

 

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