• Despite the reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases recorded in Malawi over the past few weeks, the state of national disaster which was declared on 12 January 2021 is still in place as the Government is mindful to prevent a third wave which is possible if preventive measures are not observed.
• COVID-19 vaccination in Malawi began on 11 March 2021. As of 06 April 2021, 164,733 people had been vaccinated. Malawi aims to immunize 3.8 million people by the end of 2021. So far the country has received 510,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (360,000 COVAX facility, 100,000 AU and 50,000 from the Government of India).
• Results of a UNICEF supported survey conducted before the roll out of the vaccine show low trust among health workers with only 37 per cent of the respondents indicating that they trust the vaccine. The findings are low uptake observed since the vaccine was rolled out. Findings of the study will inform COVID-19 vaccination RCCE strategies. UNICEF is currently working with the Health Education Services (HES) unit in Ministry of Health to plan and roll out interventions to increase vaccine trust.
• The Ministry of Education and Teachers Union of Malawi, signed a consent order on 12 April to pave way for negotiations to end a week long teachers which strike which remerged on 6 April. This has made it possible for teaching and learning to resume on 13 April 2020 .
• About 26,000 primary school learners can now learn in an improved socially distanced learning environment as a result of UNICEF’s provision of 650 portable chalkboards. The chalkboards have been distributed to disadvantaged schools that are conducting classes in the open space.