By Staff reporter
A woman in her late 80s collapsed in Mzuzu flea market on Tuesday morning, the 11th of August 2020, due to the adverse impact of wearing a face mask for a long period of time.
The woman, who hails from Karonga, came for a medical checkup at Mzuzu referral central hospital where she routinely gets medication for high blood pressure.
“She had put on the mask at home in Chilumba and had it covering her nose and mouth throughout the travel,” said Rose Khwawa, her daughter in-law.
The elderly woman was quickly rushed to the nearest Mzuzu health centre, where she regained her conscious after some treatment.
In an interview with Akometsi, one of the medical personnel at the health centre emphasised that patients with other ailments like BP and asthma are not recommended to use masks for a longer duration.
“Maybe face shields can do but face masks are not just suitable for them,” said the tireless medical care provider.
Children and much older persons, according to the clinician, are not recommended to wear face masks but rather they can put on face shields.
Nonetheless, Akometsi understands that face shields are costly and most people cannot afford to buy them as statistics demonstrate a good fraction of Malawians live below the poverty line.
According to United Nations recent report, 80% of the Malawian population lives below $1(around Mk750) a day, which is less than the cost of a face shield.
Irrespective of the government’s pledge to distribute 15 million face masks to a population of about 18 million people, many Malawians have complained of suffocating when they use this protective equipment. There’s a need to civic educate the masses on the proper use of mask. All advocates to this need to make sure that all people in the nation get access to this civic education to minimize such incidences do not become a hindrance to the message in the fight against this invincible enemy.
On Saturday, August 8, 2020, the government made it mandatory for everyone to wear a face masks in public places and those who contravene this order will pay MK10, 000 as a fine or face imprisonment.