Senior Chief Nkula of the Bemba speaking people in Chinsali district in Muchinga Province has warned parents in his chiefdom who will ignore taking their children for the Trachoma prevention exercise of stern action.
Chief Nkula said the welfare of children should be held with the highest significance with regard to their health, saying all parents who will not adhere to the directive by the Ministry of Health in the district, will face serious consequences.
The exercise follows a report of a threat of an outbreak of trachoma in Shiwang’andu and Chinsali districts.
The Senior Chief sounded the warning yesterday when a team from the District Health Office from Chinsali paid a courtesy call on him to inform him about the three day prevention exercise which will be launched today in Chinsali.
He charged that as an advocate of Children’s rights, he will closely monitor the exercise to see to it that all the children in the area have access to the Trachoma drug.
He said the efforts by the Ministry of Health are welcome and will support them to ensure the effective implementation of the exercise.
Chief Nkula further advised the Health office in Chinsali to provide mobile clinics when carrying out such exercises as they are able to cover a huge number of people in a short time.
He lamented that clinics especially in Chinsali are located in distant areas stressing that access to such urgent facilities may prove to be difficult by the local people.
And speaking on behalf of the District Health Director Dr. David Silweya, Clinical Care Officer Andrew Chulu said some selected schools will be used as health centres for people to have easy access.
Mr. Chulu charged that the idea of using schools as health centres for accessing the trachoma drug will help achieve the 90 percent target of people to be covered.
Meanwhile, Chinsali District Administrative Officer Davie Mulambya who represented the District Commissioner Mr. Maximo Chitambi thanked the Chief for his support.
Mr. Mulambya also appealed to the Chief to inform other Chiefs in Muchinga over the exercise so that they can also create awareness in their chiefdoms.
The programme which is sponsored by Sight Savers Zambia came as a result of a research that was conducted in the area which revealed that a threat of Trachoma outbreak in Shiwang’andu and Chinsali districts is likely to ensue thereby, preventive measures being urgently launched.
Trachoma is a contagious bacterial infection of the eyes that causes swelling on the inner surface of the eye lids and if not treated earlier it leads to blindness.