We are keeping in close contact with our partners in northern Malawi, and are glad to report that (at the time of posting) they are not experiencing any pressure on their hospitals or communities as a result of Covid-19. The clinical students have returned to their home towns and are working in their clinics, following the temporary closure of their colleges. We understand that, so far, there are not many reported cases of the virus in the country, but a big unknown is to what extent the many people returning from the lockdown in South Africa will effect the infection rates.
As part of the Scotland-Malawi Partnership, we are keeping abreast of events and seeking too understand the needs on the ground in Malawi.
There will be no Focus on Malawi clinical visit from the UK this year, and our joint plans to encourage wider communication and co-operation amongst eye-care practitioners and hospitals in the north have been postponed.
In this holding situation regarding eye work, we are looking to understand how we might be of assistance to our partner hospitals in their immediate needs to deal with the pandemic if it hits their areas. We are discussing with them and other well-wishers now how we could participate in sponsoring the local production of face coverings and scrubs, and to help finance the improvement of clean water supplies.
Thank you for your interest in, prayers for, and support for the Trust and our partners in Malawi. At this time, we want them to know they are not alone in facing this unprecedented challenge.