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Zambia sees highest daily coronavirus cases since March

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ZAMBIA reported 472 cases of the new coronavirus out of 1,851 tests done, Minister of Health, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya said, the largest one-day increase since March, bringing the country’s total to 4,328.

Additionally, Zambia has recorded three more death bringing the total to 139.

The Ministry of Health is concerned that people have stopped wearing masks and practicing social distance.

The Ministry of Health says they will enforce public gathering in the wake of the spike of Covid-19.

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ZMA advises Government to re-build the image of the Ministry of Health

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ZAMBIA Medical Association (ZMA) Secretary General Dr. Masiku Phiri has advised the government to re-build the image of the Ministry of Health as a short term measure of mitigating COVID-19.
In a statement, Dr Phiri said doing so will offer variable accountability of the COVID-19 donations as well as bring transparency in procurement processes.
He has also appealed to the citizens to retain their confidence in the health sector.
“In addition to the long-term position papers plus policy guidelines submitted to relevant authorities previously, ZMA would further like to advance the following short-term measures aimed at mitigating the current situation that is on the brink of getting out of hand; Re-build image of the Ministry of Health by offering verifiable accountability of COVID-19 donations and greater transparency in procurement processes,” Dr Phiri said.
“Public confidence in this vital ministry needs to be restored urgently.  ZMA appeals to the general public to retain the much needed confidence in the Health Sector. The ministry must not only be responsible, but must be seen to be responsible in order to lead a collective response.”
He also asked the Government to decentralize COVID-19 treatment by establishing facility preparedness of lower level hospitals including General Hospitals, District Hospitals and First-Level Hospitals in order to control the referral flow and routine screening of the Public.
Dr Phiri further said government must expedite the acquisition of the COVID-19 vaccine and give priority to essential workers and vulnerable population.
He further said there is need to motivate Healthcare workers by awarding them economically reflective COVID-19 incentives, and dismantling the Personal Emoluments owed to them by government.
Meanwhile, Dr Phiri said government should also employ over 5, health care workers including the newly graduates that are currently wasting in skills by idling in communities without jobs.

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Supplying unsafe drugs and equipment is a serious violation of the right to life, HRC says 

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THE Human Rights Commission (HRC) has called on Government to ensure that all those who played a role in facilitating the procurement, supply and distribution of unsafe drugs and medical supplies to the public should be held to account.
This follows revelation arising from the Auditor General’s report and further scrutiny by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee that defective condoms as well as gloves were distributed to the general public and have been in circulation since September, 2020.
In a media statement issued, HRC chairperson Mudford Mwandenga
said the revelation is a serious indictment on the part of the State and greatly undermines its obligation to ensure that every citizen enjoys the highest attainable standard of health.
Mr Mwandenga said the move is a serious violation of the right to life
owing to the interdependency and interrelatedness of human rights.
He said the distribution of the defective health commodities is also a violation of the right to health.
“The distribution of defective condoms and gloves has great potential to negatively impact on the enjoyment of the right to health particularly efforts aimed at fighting the AIDS pandemic. There is a huge risk that some people could have contracted HIV and AIDS on account of using such defective medical supplies,” he said.
He further said from the prevalence of HIV among adults aged 15 to 59 in Zambia, approximately 980,000 people living with HIV may have been exposed to health risks arising from the supply and distribution of the defective medical kits and unsafe medicines.
“This may reverse the gains made in the fight against HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and, in turn, impair the enjoyment of the right to health,” Mr Mwandenga said.
He said efforts to fight COVID-19 pandemic  has also been undermined as health workers and other front-line staff in the prevention and control of the spread COVID-19 pandemic make use of protective gloves among other Personal Protective Equipment to protect themselves and others from contracting the virus.
Mr Mwandenga said it is of great concern that the Government allowed the distribution and use of substandard gloves in health facilities which undermined the occupational safety of health workers and other frontline staff and, in turn, endangering their lives as well safety of members of the public who could have accessed health service.
“The Commission is aware that the Anti-Corruption Commission is already carrying out investigations into the matter which have reached an advanced stage. The Commission wishes to call upon the public to allow for lawfully mandated institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission to carry out their mandate effectively,” he said.
Mr Mwandenga has further urged Government to ensure that there is effective tracing of, and support to the victims in order to avoid putting their health and that of other people at any further risk.

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Now, Aspirin tablets recalled

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THE Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) has written to International Drug Company (IDC) to recall aspirin it supplied.

IDC is a Zambian registered company which supplied the aspirin, which is said to be defective.

The drug was manufactured by Wintech Pharmaceuticals of India.

In a letter dated December 7, 2020,  to International Drug Company, ZAMRA’s Director General Bernice Mwale said the Authority has received a Medical Product Quality Problem Report relating to aspirin tablets supplied by the company

She said product was found to be non-compliant with respect to appearance and organoleptic tests conducted.

Mrs Mwale said the product was also found to have crystals on the tablet coating, a foul smell and the tablets were breaking easily.

She has since gave the supplier 14 days to recall the defective product and report back to the authority.

Mrs Mwale has further requested the company  to submit a detailed report of the recall process which should include the quantity of the affected product imported and the quantity collected from the various health facilities and pharmaceutical outlets.

“Therefore, you are directed to initiate an urgent recall of the affected batch from circulation within 14 days from the day of receipt of this letter. Use of Press Media with wide coverage is highly recommended,” reads the letter.

(Picture Courtesy of Elias Limwanya)

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Foxdale Forest – Phase 2 Selling

ZAMBIA: COVID-19 STATS

19 Jan 2021, 2:01 AM (GMT)

Zambia Stats

39,515 Total Cases
578 Deaths
28,066 Recovered

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