Stop politicking Covid-19
By IREEN MULENGA
Former Minister of Health Jonas Chanda says that politicians should stop politicking Covid-19 vaccination and instead allow the technocrats at the Ministry of Health and Zambia National Public Health Institute take the lead.
Dr Chanda said that the mixed messages from politicians have contributed to Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy by Zambians.
“One day politicians will call Covid-19 a “hoax”, and tell people not to get Covid-19 vaccination. The next day, they will turn around and say Covid-19 is “real” and ask people to get vaccinated. These contradictions lead to loss of trust by the people and politicians claiming to be vaccinated must lead by example and do so in public, not in private as people will not believe them,” he said.
Dr Chanda said that since August 16, 2021 when the last election results were announced, there has been huge lapse in adherence to Covid-19 public health prevention measures.
He said since then life went back to normal as bars, restaurants, markets, churches, shops, public meetings, sports and social events all operated as before Covid-19 and few citizens are wearing face masks in public.
Dr Chanda has urge Government to refocus their energies on policy measures that will mitigate the deadly impact of the upcoming 4th Wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, including strict enforcement of and adherence to Covid-19 public health prevention measures.
He said they should also outline strategies they are putting in place to increase the number of vaccinated eligible adults from the current less than 3% to at least 70%, in order to achieve “herd immunity.”
Dr Chanda has also appeal to our Traditional and Church leaders to take the lead in sensitizing people against Covid-19 and encouraging them to get Covid-19 vaccination.