The Children’s Environmental Health Foundation (CEHF) has called on government through the Ministry of Local Government to strengthen and enforce COVID-19 measures as stipulated in the National Health Guidelines by the Ministry of Health.
In an interview with the Lusaka Star, CEHF Chairman General Michael Musenga said that there was the need for the Ministry of Local Government through its local councils to encourage the public on the use of appropriate disinfectants, hand sanitisers, social distancing and masking up as recommended by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.
Mr Musenga said that there was a need for the Ministry of Local Government to issue a circular to all local authorities to pass council resolutions to strengthen the monitoring and enforcement of National Guidelines on the COVID-19 pandemic in Zambia.
“The Statutory instrument No. 21 and 22 has been issued to strengthen the Public Health Act Cap 295. Our study to this aspect reveals that community are very cooperative to this aspect but there are certain areas where there is no observance of the health guidelines,” he said.
He said that to strengthen the monitoring of the National Guidelines in addressing the pandemic, there was the need for local authorities to carry out community sensitization exercises as well as enforcements to mitigate the spread of the virus and restore the health and dignity of communities.
Mr Musenga said that this will help to give guidance and provide steps in abetting the reluctance and annoyances with regards to the compliance levels of the pandemic.
“The steps stipulated in the Public Health Act are very cordial and educational to community change of attitude in this process,” he stated.
The Chairman General stated that CEHF through the office of The Livingstone District Commissioner has been sensitizing communities using Zambia National Information Service (ZANIS) in Livingstone.
Mr Musenga said that Covid-19 cases were rising and therefore laws enacted to address this pandemic could play a great deal of community education for attitude change.
He said that 90 percent of the public health Act enforcing could only be attained through education and sensitization.
Mr Musenga explained that there was a need for government and private stakeholders to work together and stop the spread of the pandemic.
The Ministry of Local Government (MLG) is charged with the responsibility of promoting a decentralized and good local governance system, facilitating the delivery of quality municipal services to contribute to sustainable socio-economic development.
It is mandated to oversee the implementation of delegated functions and responsibilities by the local authorities.
Zambia has currently recorded 38,207 cases of COVID-19, 559 deaths and 27,327 recoveries.
Tapela Lungu is an award-winning writer and former Media and Communication studies student at the University of Zambia who has a strong passion to write, read and explore. He was the Managing Editor for the online magazine. As a writer, he has a strong interest in human interest stories, community news and stories that impact human development and health.