A public health specialist at the Lusaka Province Health Office says inadequate vehicles, fuel and airtime have continued to pose a challenge in making contact tracing relating to Covid-19 in the region.
Dr Bushimbwa Tambatamba stated that the province does not have adequate resources to follow-up known contacts of patients saying it takes time for health officers to trace the contacts of the patients.
Speaking during a Covid -19 multi-sectoral response meeting, Dr. Tambatamba said there was need for stakeholders to intervene and ensure that all known contacts are tested in order to prevent the further spread of the disease.
And Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary (PS) Elias Kamanga has called on the Lusaka province finance committee to be innovative and come up with ways of mobilising resources to supplement government efforts in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr. Kamanga observed that most local authorities and health centres in the province are faced with financial difficulties hence the need for the committee to engage different stakeholders that will help in providing requirements such as airtime, masks, and transport.
He noted that there have been reports from the districts where health personnel have been failing to keep track of the people who test positive for Covid-19 owing to lack of airtime.
The PS said it was unacceptable for health personnel to fail to acquire airtime and find transport to check on people who have been put on self-isolation.
Mr. Kamanga noted that there were a lot of partners who are willing to help and the provincial finance committee should write letters to them to address the problems of airtime and transport.
“I wish to challenge the Lusaka provincial finance committee to write to different stakeholders to come on board and partner with the councils and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU),’’ he said.
Mr. Kamanga has since urged both the council and the health personnel to partner with mobile phone network companies so that they could also provide them with airtime.