Malawi

Combatting COVID-19 in the community: Cash transfers for the safe & hunger-free home-care of elderly Covid patients

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Manual and Guideline
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Proposal —Offer any person over 50 years of age who tests positive 15,000kwacha per week so they can remain in safe, hunger-free isolation at their home, under the guidance of their chief, religious leader and HSA.

Why? - Information will save more lives than medicine in the fight against Covid in Malawi. It is very difficult for a person infected with Covid and their carer to remain in isolation without suffering from hunger due to lost income. Currently people are not getting tested and those who test positive are not informing anyone and are not staying in isolation because they fear stigmatisation and being forced to stay in isolation without a means to feed themselves and their family. For €20 per week we may be able to prevent a positive case spreading within a community AND ensure that the patient does not suffer from hunger while safely and comfortably isolating thanks to support from people in their community. As Covid-19 cases increase the capacity of Malawi’s medical system to treat patients with severe symptoms will soon be overwhelmed. Care contingencies are needed. Communities need more detailed guidance on how to care for Covid patients within their communities without spreading the virus and without causing greater suffering to the patient.

How?1—Have a discussion with Group Village Chiefs and HSAs about ’What is happening and what should happen if someone in your community gets Covid?’ and request their support for the following plan: 2—Offer any person over 50 years of age who tests positive for Covid 15,000 kwacha per week for 3 weeks if they agree to remain at home in isolation for 3 weeks. 3 (optional?)—Ask the patient if they accept for their HSA, their Village Chief, their Group Village Chief and designated health volunteers from their community can be made aware of their diagnosis so that they can assist them.