The President of Malawi, Dr Lazarus Chakwera, says he will introduce an award called ‘Zikomo Presidential Award’ as a token of appreciation to health workers for their dedication.
Chakwera said the Zikomo presidential Award, upon commencement, will be given every three months as one way of showing gratitude to health personnel.
“Although there are no ways to adequately thank these heroes, I believe that it is important to celebrate their tireless efforts. For this reason, I am introducing the Zikomo Presidential Award, a token of thanks that I will give every quarter to five of the most dedicated health workers selected through the nominations of their peers around the country in recognition of their service,” said Chakwera.
He noted that health workers have bravely put themselves at risk to test hundreds of people every day, to give quarantine guidelines to those who are found positive and to provide care to those in need of hospitalization.
The Malawi leader described the health workers as champions who are doing this against many odds, including depressing working conditions, depleted medical supplies, and deteriorating health facilities caused by years of neglect.
He gave the example of the incident in Balaka where fire broke out in the kitchen of Balaka District Hospital. Personnel at the hospital worked together to arrest the situation and keep it from harming patients.
“Such acts of heroism are a special occurrence in other sectors, but a daily staple for our health workers. Without them, we would simply have no chance and no hope against this pandemic, because they are truly our last line of defense,” said Chakwera.
However, Chakwera condemned the continued habit of violence by community members towards health workers who are assisting Covid-19 patients as well as facilitating burial of Covid-19 victims.
He warned that the law will take its course on anyone caught assaulting a health worker for any reason.