Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Epidemic response Committee calls for strengthened surveillance in Sinazongwe

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The epidemic preparedness committee in Sinazongwe District has resolved to strengthen disease surveillance and intelligence to enhance preparedness and response.

This came to light when the committee met yesterday in a meeting held at council chamber for an update on the current epidemic situation in the district by Sinazongwe Health Office.

Sinazongwe District Health promotions officer Owen Malawo said there was need for all stakeholders to participate in raising awareness on the epidemic responses.

“The district will be implementing the measles vaccination campaign and sensitization on other epidemics in a multi- sectoral way by engaging all stakeholders,”he said.

Mr Malawo has also called on stakeholders in the committee to participate in responding to rumors and correct misinformation about measles and Covid-19 vaccinations that will be undertaken in the district.

And presenting the district epidemic situation update to stakeholders and the committee, District Health Office Surveillance Officer Mwiinga Ngwama indicated that there were reduced cases of Covid-19 in the district as of last year.

Mr Ngwama said the district had also recorded a reduction in malaria incidences while measles claimed three lives from one area called Siamambo fishing camp but recorded 164 cases cumulatively last year.

He said the measles spread through community transmission but were treated apart from the three that died.

Mr Ngwama also presented that dog bites in the district were on the rise and needed to be controlled.

“Despite no record of confirmed rabies the district has a record of more than 20 dog bites as of last year and the situation has remained worrisome to date, “said Mr Ngwama.

He called on the council, veterinary department and Zambia Police to come on board to control the situation by way of sensitization and cropping stray dogs suspected of not being vaccinated.

However, Sinazongwe District Commissioner Nchimunya Siakole has reaffirmed Government’s commitment in stamping out Covid-19 with the onset of the sub-variant omicron virus XBB.

“Government is still committed to stamping out COVID-19 especially with the coming of the sub-variant omicron virus XBB and has taken it as a public health emergency,” he said.

He said this in a speech delivered on his behalf by District Labour Officer Chipango Muyaka.

Mr Siakole said despite reduction of Covid-19 cases in the district last year, there is need to intensify the uptake of the golden rules guided by health office.

He said the district may not be spared from the Covid-19 and other pandemics if the public health guidelines are dropped.

Mr Siakole added that epidemic preparedness and response required sustainable engagement of stakeholders at all levels.

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