Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo has bemoaned low levels of the number of people who have been vaccinated against the COVI-19 in the country. Ms Masebo says COVID19 remains a threat to the Zambian population hence the need for concerted efforts to curb the pandemic.
Ms Masebo said this in a speech read on her behalf by Levy Mwanawasa Medical University, Senior Medical Superintendent, John Musuku during the 5th graduation ceremony for registered nurses and clinical officers from Lusaka Institute of Applied Science.
Ms Masebo has since called on new graduates from Lusaka Institute of Applied Science to join hands with the government in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. She implored the 742 graduaients to apply the knowledge and skills they have attained during their three year training in mitigating the further spread of the pandemic.
“As health care providers you the graduates have a duty to sensitise communities on the need to get the COVID19 vaccine,” she advised.
And Ms Masebo has promised to look into the challenges facing learning institutions in the health sector so as to enable them thrive. She reiterated that the government appreciates and values qualified human capital as it is critical in the delivery of quality healthcare services to the public.
And Lusaka Institute of Applied Science Director, Brighton Chellah assured the government of the schools commitment in producing fully baked students who will contribute to providing quality health care services.
Mr Chellah however, implored the government to look into the exorbitant fees learning institutions are made to pay by regulators in the health sector. He complained that the exorbitant fees required by the regulators has made it difficult for the institution to introduce new Programmes.
He further indicated that most students are failing to pay the fees required for them to do attachments in the Ministry of Health institutions.
Meanwhile, Muchinga Province Minister Henry Sikazwe has raised concerns over the continued poor response to the COVID-19 vaccination exercise in the region.
Mr Sikazwe said government has noted with deep concern that Muchinga Province has only fully vaccinated approximately 4 percent of the eligible population since the first vaccination campaign was launched.
Speaking during the Muchinga Provincial COVID-19 vaccination Campaign re-launch in Chinsali, Mr. Sikazwe who was represented by Provincial Permanent Secretary Davison Mulenga, charged that there is need for strengthening sensitization of the vaccination exercise.
He said the aim of the COVID-19 vaccination programme is to vaccinate at least 70 percent of the eligible population in order to achieve sufficient immunity for the entire population.
He stated that due to this narrative, government will continue to mobilize more vaccines through the COVID-19 vaccines Global Access Facility coupled with other multi and Bilateral partners.
“The Ministry of Health has further taken a significant step to reinvigorate the fight against the Global pandemic in order to continue enhancing preventive measures,” he added.
He also stressed that government will remain determined to attaining universal access to quality health care ,adding that it is a pre-condition for the socio-economic development of the country.
Mr Sikazwe further called on all eligible residents of Muchinga Province to get vaccinated.
And Muchinga Provincial Health Director, Nero Chilembo disclosed that the Province has to date, lost over 100 lives from COVID-19.
Dr. Chilembo said the number of mortalities recorded is an indication that the Province is affected by the pandemic therefore requires strengthened response towards health integrations against the fight of the disease.
He noted that residents in the Province have let their guard down towards taking precautionary measures, stressing that COVID-19 is still active and deadly.
Dr. Chilembo also urged the general public to get vaccinated with the prescribed vaccines to protect themselves from the deadly disease.
“These vaccinations have less side effects and people should not be misled by myths and misconceptions,” he added.
Meanwhile, a Chinsali resident Helen Kaluba who took the vaccination also encouraged others to get vaccinated.