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Safety and Precautionary Measures for Staff and Students During the Covid 19 Pandemic: A Malawian College of Health Sciences Case
*Corresponding author: Nyirenda, department of Radiography, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Malawi College of Health Sciences, Lilongwe, Malawi.
Received: November 23, 2020; Published: December 03, 2020
The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is exacting a huge toll on individuals, families, communities and societies across the world . Furthermore, the pandemic has changed the lives of individuals, families, communities and societies globally (Inter-Agency Standing Committee; 2020). The protection of students, staff and educational facilities is particularly important during Covid-19 pandemic . According to the Centre for Health protection , schools/ colleges need to develop precautionary measures to minimize the risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19 after class resumption. Safety measures taken by schools/colleges can prevent the entry and spread of Covid 19 by students and staff who may have been exposed to the virus . As of 24th March 2020, confirmed global COVID 19 incidences were 39827, with a reported death toll of 1722. Among reported cases Africa alone confirmed 315, with 3 reported deaths . On 20 March 2020, Covid-19 was declared a national disaster in Malawi and on 2 April 2020 Malawi registered the first cases of COVID-19 .
As a way of averting COVID 19 - related effects Malawi adopted certain measures such as closure of schools and colleges following the directive by the President of the Republic of Malawi. As of 20th May 2020, Malawi had cumulatively recorded 76 cases including 3 deaths . Therefore, while Covid 19 continues to spread, it is important that authorities take action to prevent further transmission, reduce the impacts of the outbreak and support control measures . Sets of recommendations for staff and students at a Malawian College of Health Sciences was therefore developed as a precautionary measure to protect them from the Covid-19 pandemic. The sets of recommendations shall provide guidance on how staff and students should protect themselves from Covid-19 pandemic .
Procedure and Quality of Data
The idea to develop the sets of recommendations was necessitated by the fact that there were no sets of recommendations specifically for the staff and students at the Malawian College to guide them during the Covid-19 pandemic. The content of these recommendations was based on a literature review following the review of Guidance for Covid-19 Prevention and Control in Schools/ Colleges by  as well as review of Malawi, Ministry of Education  Guidelines for Schools in Malawi on Prevention and Management of Covid-19. Face validity of the recommendations was ensured by requesting review of the recommendations by a 28-member panel which constitutes members of Campus Management team.
Sets of Recommendations
(Table 1) (Table 1)(Table 1).
The recommendations aim to enhance Covid-19 safety and precautionary measures. They were developed for staff and students at a Malawian College of Health Sciences. The recommendations may require to be further reviewed by experts for further validation. Correct implementation of the sets of recommendations shall ensure that there is a Covid-19 free environment at the college. However, for successful implementation of the set of recommendations the college shall need resources such as soap, aprons, buckets, bins, basins, paper rolls, face masks, gloves, chlorine, infrared thermometer, door mats, hand sanitisers, face shields for staff and information, communication as well as educational materials. Furthermore, management, staff and student commitments are also crucial for successful implementation of the sets of recommendations.
- (2020) WHO, Covid-19 Strategy Update, Geneva, Switzerland.
- (2020) UNICEF, Guidance for Covid-19 Prevention and Control in Schools, UNICEF New York, USA.
- (2020) Health Advice to Schools for the Prevention of Coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Centre for Health Protection Hong Kong.
- (2020) Malawi Covid-19 Daily Situation Report. Public Health Institute of Malawi Epidemiology Unit, Lilongwe, Malawi.
- (2020) Malawi Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness. Malawi Ministry of Health Lilongwe, Malawi.
- (2020) Public Health and Social Measures for Covid 19 Preparedness and Response in Low Capacity and Humanitarian Settings. Inter-Agency Standing Committee Switzerland.
- (2020) Guidelines for Schools in Malawi on Prevention and Management of Covid-19. Malawi Ministry of Education Lilongwe, Malawi.