NAC donates HIV and COVID-19 protective materials to protect cross-border truck drivers
The National AIDS Commission (NAC) on Friday 12th June 2020 donated an assortment of HIV and AIDS as well as COVID-19 protective materials to the Road Transport Operators Association (RTOA) and the Association of Truck Drivers in Malawi targeting all 6,000 registered cross-border truck drivers.
The protective equipment included 7,000 reusable cloth face masks, seven thousand 200ml bottles of hand sanitizers and 7,000 tablets of Dettol soap for protection against Corona Virus. In addition, NAC also donated 7,200 pieces of condoms to foster prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Speaking during a colourful handover ceremony held at the NAC Secretariat in Area 47, NAC Board Chairperson, Jones Chikoko Nkhoma, said truck drivers were at high risk of contracting the Coronavirus as they could not practise other COVID-19 preventive measures such as working from home.
“Malawi just as all countries in the world is highly exposed considering the fact that most of our essential goods and services are imported. Our neighbouring countries and economic hubs we rely on for goods and services have become COVID-19 hotspots. In the course of their duties, truck drivers are visiting these countries,” he said.
“This means cross-border truck drivers are at an increased risk of contracting and transmitting Corona Virus that causes COVID-19 as they carry out their work of ferrying essential goods and supplies, including those for fighting COVID-19, in and out of Malawi as well as from one location to the other within the country,” he added.
Chikoko Nkhoma further said this was confirmed by statistics and information that Government regularly shares on COVID-19, further stressing that this development means that truck drivers’ families, relatives, workmates and Malawians at large were all highly exposed to the Corona Virus.
He said NAC’s involvement in fighting COVID-19 was testimony that it remains committed to fighting the HIV and AIDS epidemic as well as other emerging issues that are bound to compromise the fight against HIV and AIDS.
Posted on Jun 17, 2020 Written By Karen Msiska