ZANIS

Superstitious Chavuma residents turn away Covid-19 health teams

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Chavuma district health office has swabbed 2,636 people for Covid-19 as of February 17, 2021.

Out of the total 2,636 people that were swabbed, 217 tested positive.

And the district recorded a total of 180 recoveries, 37 active cases and one death from the time the health team started swabbing.

Acting Chavuma District Health Director Dingani Daka disclosed this during a stakeholders’ meeting that included traditional leaders held in Chavuma today.

Dr. Daka said health officers in the district are facing challenges to make some follow ups on people with Covid-19 and contacts because villagers do not cooperate with them.

People in rural parts of Chavuma allegedly chase health officers away fearing that if one tests positive to Covid-19 in the villages, witches will take advantage and bewitch them, attributing deaths to coronavirus. 

“Our core business today is to discuss ways and means of fighting Covid-19 in Chavuma because the pandemic has not spared us. Recently we lost one of our fathers due to this pandemic. This shows the gravity of the pandemic that even in Chavuma we are not spared, we need to do something about it,” Dr. Daka said.

He said in an effort to effectively fight the pandemic, health personnel decided to involve traditional leaders because they command a lot of respect from people in the communities.

“As the district health office, we came up with this meeting and with advice from traditional leaders, some present here, that they wanted to spearhead the fight against Covid-19 at community level,” he said.  

Meanwhile, Chavuma District Commissioner, Fredrick Foloshi has appealed to the village headmen to follow the Presidential directive to sensitise their subjects to wear face masks, wash their hands regularly with soap or sanitize all the time as well as observing hygiene in their homes and avoiding crowded places.

“I urge all of you who have gathered here to inform other headmen who have failed to attend this meeting, like those from Mbalango, Sakawawa, Kamisamba, to sensitize their people about this deadly pandemic of Covid-19,” Mr. Foloshi said.

He said traditional leaders should lead by example in following all the guidelines aimed at curbing the further spread of the coronavirus.

“I would like you also to hold another meeting with all headmen from Chavuma West so that they are sensitized as well because I have not seen anyone from the west. Covid-19 is real, we have already lost our senior citizens here in Chavuma district and we have 37 active cases,” he said.  

And senior headman, Swana Kaumba, who spoke on behalf of other headmen, assured government that traditional leaders will sensitize their subjects.

“In fact, us as headmen, had a meeting on 29th January 2021 to look at the same killer disease of Covid-19 where we talked about our children who have just opened schools on 1 February, 2021,” He said.

Headman Kaumba has meanwhile appealed to teachers, parents, traders, marketers, and other stakeholders to adhere to health guidelines in order to reduce the chances of contracting and spreading the pandemic.

He has meanwhile urged all people in the district not to politicize Covid-19 but instead work together regardless of their political, church and any other affiliation to fight the pandemic in unity.

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