The Zambia Correctional Service has disclosed that over 12,000 out of 22,000 inmates countrywide have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Zambia Correctional Service – Covid-19 National Focal Point Person Liswaniso Muyendekwa said at Kitwe’s Kamfinsa Correctional facility alone over 2,300 inmates have received Covid 19 vaccines representing 76% of the total population at the facility.
Mr Muyendekwa was speaking at Kamfinsa Correctional Facility on Tuesday morning when Mary Begg Community Clinic and Prisons Fellowship Zambia visited the facility to roll out the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Mr Muyendekwa said the Covid-19 situation in correctional facilities is not alarming. He revealed that no inmate has died from Covid-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic in Zambia in March 2020.
“Those who are willing have been vaccinated and we have numbers now that are showing the impact of this programme that have indicated that the numbers have increased. Like right now the whole country we have over 12, 000 inmates that have been vaccinated countrywide that is fully vaccinated. And Kamfinsa alone here we have over 2,300 inmates, like for Kamfinsa alone there are less than 800 inmates who are not yet vaccinated. For officers it is a bit difficult to get information or exact data on officers because they can access this service elsewhere apart from our health facilities,” Mr Muyendekwa said.
Prisons Fellowship of Zambia Executive Director Teddy Mweetwa said the organization has received over K37, 000 from Mary Begg Community Clinic for Covid-19 programmes in correctional facilities.
Mr Mweetwa encouraged inmates who are yet to be vaccinated to do so saying they should be protected from getting Covid 19.
“At least everyone must be vaccinated. The advantage of getting vaccinated is that once you contract Covid-19 it will not come with full forces. You will be feeling mild pains but it will not be a serious one. Yes we agree you can still contract Covid even if you have been vaccinated. But if you contract it again it will not come with full force,” he said.
Kamfinsa Correctional facility Officer Commanding Ivor Musumali revealed that his facility has not recorded any case of COVID-19 from the time the disease broke-out.
“We thank you for the work and to see you again come with the partner Mary Begg Community Clinic it is one and the same effort. And for us as correctional centre Kamfinsa the direction everything is pushing to I think is fighting Covid-19 and it will serve us well as a facility. In terms of our experience I think as you have mentioned God has been gracious to us. I wish to wish to report or share that Kamfinsa have not recorded a single case of Covid-19. Even when we had the third wave last year we never had a single case here at Kamfinsa of Covid. It is on record equally for this fourth wave that we experienced with the new variant the omicron Kamfinsa has not recorded a single case,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of Mary Begg Community Clinic, the founders of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Correctional facilities, Public Relations Officer Monica Chanda highlighted the importance of vaccination among inmates.
“Right now you cannot make a decision on your own, so the Government wants to help you by getting you vaccinated. When you are vaccinated you will be OK. Because of lack of social distancing here in facilities it may be easy for you to get Covid-19. Those who are yet to be vaccinated get serious my father. We still want to see you alive outside. When you are released your children are waiting for you, your wives are waiting for you, your parents are waiting for you and all of us want to welcome you back,” she said.