By Mc Donald Chapalapata, a Contributor

Kawawa (left) hands over some of the medical equipment to Kandodo-Chiponda as Secretary for Health Dr Charles Mwansambo looks on

Listed National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc has contributed a total of K70 million towards the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic following the declaration of a state of disaster by President Lazarus Chakwera on 12th January 2021.

The Bank contributed K10 million through the Citizens Response to Covid-19 Initiative a few days ago and has further released K60 million worth of medical supplies to the Minister of Health Hon. Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda.

Speaking in Blantyre at a symbolic presentation of the items, NBM plc Chief Executive Officer Mr. Macfussy Kawawa said the Bank has responded to the call by President Chakwera to unite in the fight against Covid-19.

“We have made this commitment for two reasons- first, we believe that at a time such as this, solidarity and collaboration are vital in ensuring that Malawi’s response to Covid-19 is successful. Second, not only have the operations of Bank been affected, our customers and suppliers and the communities within which we operate have also been negatively affected.”

“As the Bank of the Nation, we felt it necessary to contribute towards response efforts for the greater good and for a better business environment.  We take this as our contribution towards such an investment.  We recognize that our Bank has successfully grown because of the support rendered by people of Malawi. We are therefore duty bound to step in and contribute whatever we can in these times of crisis,” said Mr. Kawawa.

Kawawa(left) presents the K60 million cheque to Kandodo Chiponda as fellow cabinet colleagues Gospel Kazako looks on

The NBM CEO added that Bank also supported the fight against Covid-19 during the ‘first wave’ of the pandemic in 2020 with the provision of medical equipment to Blantyre District Health Office and College of Medicine, masks for vulnerable pupils in Blantyre through the Blantyre City Council mask drive and implementation of customer awareness/safety measures within all its physical locations to the value of K49 million.

“As the Bank of the Nation, we are still here to help in whatever way we can so that we save lives of our customers, friends and families hence our commitment to continue supporting these efforts where necessary. We are all in this together until we defeat the pandemic. We have all the hope that this pandemic will be contained and we will go back to our normal lives again,” said Mr. Kawawa.

Receiving the donation, Minister of Health Hon. Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda, who was accompanied by fellow cabinet colleague Minister of Information Gospel Kazako hailed NBM plc for its commitment to the nation, adding that it would help ease gaps in health care provision. She added that the items would be distributed to key need areas across the country following an assessment by the Covid-19 response team.

“We are very grateful to NBM plc for this contribution. As you aware, the strain on the health sector is unprecedented. Therefore, the situation calls for support from all sectors of the country in order to win this fight against the pandemic,” said Hon. Kandodo-Chiponda.

Since the first case of Corona virus was reported in Malawi in April 2020, more than 500 people have died from the disease. Addressing the Nation on Sunday, President Chakwera said in 310 days against the fight of the pandemic, a total of 17,963 coronavirus tests have been conducted in the past seven days, which is an average of 2566 tests per day, representing a 50% increase on the average number of daily tests the week before.

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