Irish Ambassador to Malawi Seamus O’Grady on Wednesday handed over data management equipment worth K10.6 million to Malawi Government as part of the Covid-19 response initiative.
Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda received the consignment of computers and other gadgets on behalf of the people of Malawi.
Speaking after the donation, Kandodo Chiponda thanked the Irish Ambassador for the donation saying the equipment will help the operations of the Ministry in data management.
“We are very grateful today for the donation of ICT equipment, which is basically used for management of data in genomic sequencing, from Irish Embassy and Unicef to Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM),” she said.
She added that PHIM is a very important department because it is the one which houses the laboratory which is used for testing different things including the Covid-19 virus.
“At first, when Covid just started we could not do the testing, we would just test if you had Covid or not but to know which strain you have, we could not do it because we didn’t have the capacity.
“We were sending our samples to South Africa and we had to wait weeks for us to get the results.
“But now with equipment which we have received from Irish Embassy and also from Unicef and also the training of our laboratory staff, we are able to do the genomic sequencing ourselves, we can tell what strain of the virus we are dealing with.
“So, that helps us alot because it also tells us how we are going to manage the patient depending on the strain which we are dealing with,” said Chiponda.
In his remarks, Irish Ambassodor to Malawi Seamus O’Grady said they have been supporting Malawi in a number of sectors and obviously with the Covid-19 crisis they realise that Malawi didn’t have enough data management equipment and that is why they have decided to donate the equipment.
O’Grady said Malawi so far is doing very well in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic as the figures of Covid-19 cases have now dropped.