Bishop Montfort Sitima of the Roman Catholic, church has decried lack of seriousness in observing COVID-19 preventive measures, among Malawians.
Sitima said this in Lilongwe at a media training on COVID-19 and gender-based violence, organised by the Association of Catholic Journalists ( ACJ) for the central region.
He said it was sad that after over six months of sensitisation through the media, some citizens still have misconceptions on the pandemic.
“They still think it is a disease of town dwellers,” lamented Sitima who is chairperson for Social Communication in the Episcopal Conference of Malawi(ECM).
A mental health expert with St Jonh of God in Lilongwe, Ndumanene Silungwe said most Malawians are complacent, because they have, other pressing issues to be scared of.
These include the economic threats caused by the pandemic.
Chairperson for ACJ Sam Kalimba said journalists need to engage the rural masses more than mere reporting issues via media outlets.
“For example media practitioners who are popular among the grassroots could physically visit communities with COVID-19 preventive messages,” said Kalimba.
Peter Yeresani chief gender and development officer in the Ministry of Gender, stated that the pandemic has infuriated gender based violence emanating from economic hardships.