The Children’s Environmental Health Foundation (CEHF) has called upon the government and all government-led stakeholders to enforce COVID-19 health guidelines and mitigate the spread of the virus.
In a statement availed to the Lusaka Star, CEHF Chairperson Michael Musenga said that the Ministry of Health through Dr Kennedy Malama and the Ministry of Local Government should direct the national Directors of Public Health Office to coordinate and function the Public Health Act.
Mr Musenga stated that there was concern that the legal enforcement of the national health guidelines at the local authority level was not active.
“The procedure on the administration of public health enforcement in communities is clear to abate nuisances as placed under the provisions of the Public’s Health Act Cap 295 of the Laws of Zambia,” he stated.
He said that the local councils were not up to the task with regards to educating the public on COVID-19 measures.
Mr Musenga called upon the Ministry of Local Government to quickly establish the office of the Public Health Directorate at the Ministry of Local Government that will collaborate with the Ministry of Health and councils in the cordial approach of the enforcement process.
Meanwhile, he stated that some liquor premises were operating with impunity in some districts without the full knowledge of a local council thereby giving more work to the Ministry of Health.
Mr Musenga stated that the Ministry of Health was now doing the enforcement when the local councils had the Directors of Public Health.
“The coordination between the council’s public health under the Ministry of Local Government is currently lacking public health teams at the local council level,” he said.
He said that communities needed to be educated regularly and at the same time respect the national health guidelines pertaining to Covid-19.
“Let the local authorities involve stakeholders, the community, and others so that approach is also understood at the community level,” he stated.
Mr Musenga emphasized that the COVID-19 could only stop when the communities were engaged because the virus heavily affected these communities.
“Let us all support government institutions in addressing this pandemic and bring dignity in our communities. We Zambians have to act in unity,” he stated.