Only approved COVID-19 medicine will land in Zambia-Dr Chanda


Minister of Health Jonas Chanda has reiterated that the government is being cautious with which COVID-19 vaccine it should bring in the country.

 Dr Chanda  said it is for this reason that the government is taking a conscious approach in the procurement  of the Coronavirus vaccines, as  the  medicine to be acquired   has to meet three criteria of effectiveness, safe and logistically feasible.

ZANIS reports that Dr Chanda was speaking during the Sunday Interview program on ZNBC TV last evening.

Dr Chanda explained that the government wants to procure a vaccine that will work effectively on the variant in the country.

He said there is a need for the people to have confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine before it is procured and brought into the country.

“With the COVID-19 vaccine, you have to give confidence to the people. If you rush to bring a vaccine and people have no confidence in it, no one will take it. People need to know the manufacturer and where it is coming from” Dr Chanda pointed out.

The Minister stressed that he is very confident that by the time the vaccine will be brought in the country, the response by the people will be very good as they will not have any suspicions about it.

And Dr Chanda disclosed that President Edgar Lungu has directed the Ministry of Health and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to meet and discuss the way elections will be conducted amidst COVID-19.

He further disclosed that his Ministry is scheduled to have a meeting today the 22nd of February, 2021, with ECZ to outline the guidelines in terms of the political public rallies and how the elections will be conducted.

The Minister said the Ministry of Health has already communicated with all political parties to guide them on how to obey public health guidelines and who to contact in their districts.

“COVID-19 does not know which political party you belong to, your tribe, or province you come from. If you go to our health care centers, the patients who are sick have no such identity, they are just Zambians,” he said.

Dr Chanda explained that elections are a constitutional matter that will have to be conducted regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Dr Chanda said his ministry has moved all procurement issues to Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMSA) to reduce allegations of corruption which mainly have to do with procurement systems at the Ministry of Health.

 Dr Chanda urged the Zambian people to have confidence in the Ministry of health as they are there to help and not harm them.

He said there is need for his ministry to also regain trust with their cooperating partners who had major concerns regarding the recent happenings in the Ministry of Health.

He noted that he has had engagement meetings with key Ambassadors accredited to Zambia and Cooperating partners to assure them that the Ministry is transparent and accountable.

He indicated that he is pleased with the positive response from the cooperating partners who have continued to support the Ministry of health.

Dr Chanda urged everyone to continue following the COVID-19 guidelines for the country to fight the pandemic.