Covid-19 test and vaccination rates are low in Malawi, particularly among vulnerable groups, despite government efforts to share information within these communities.
This project will improve understanding of Covid-19 within communities and reinforce the benefits of vaccines and testing. It will contribute to a policy review to strengthen inclusion of vulnerable groups in government response measures.
The Government of Malawi responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with efforts to disseminate information on vaccines and testing. As of April 2021, rates were low with 97,429 tests conducted and 258,107 vaccinated out of a population of more than 18 million. Lack of information, particularly in rural areas, is a key factor.
High levels of illiteracy in Malawi have led to misconceptions about the pandemic within communities, resulting in disengagement with response mechanisms including vaccines and testing. Vulnerable groups including women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities and people living with HIV are harder to reach and require more tailored approaches.
This project aims to empower communities to be aware of, and exercise their rights to, Covid-19 response mechanisms, and ensure that relevant policies address the needs of vulnerable groups.