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UNZA put on high alert following the escalation in numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country.

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THE University of Zambia (UNZA) has been put on high alert following the escalation in numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country.

And some members of staff at the institution have been swabbed and tested for COVID-19.

UNZA Communications and Public Relations Manager Brenda Bukowa said the institution is however still waiting for the test results from the Ministry of Health.

“To this end and following an on-spot check by the Management of the University and in the context of the information from ministerial updates on COVID-19, it has been resolved that several measures be implemented to upscale UNZA’s COVID-19 compliance activities aimed at mitigating the spread of the pandemic amongst the Staff and Students,” said Bukowa.

Dr Bukowa said the university will create rotational schedules for all non-academic members of staff.

She said the institution has further resolved to only allocate two students per room for those that will be in boarding.

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Spring TV is operating illegally because it is not licensed by the authority, IBA Chair Mabel Mung’omba says

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INDEPENDENT Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Board Chairperson Mabel Mung’omba has insisted that Spring TV is operating illegally because it is not licensed by the authority.
Mung’omba in a statement said Spring TV is not a licensee of the IBA hence it operating illegally.
“Spring TV, like any other broadcasting service provider, is bound by sections 19(1) of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act No.26 of 2010 which prohibits the operation or the provision of a broadcasting service in Zambia without a broadcasting licence,” Mung’omba said. She said any electronic communication intended for reception by means of radio frequency spectrum or any electronic communications network or any combination thereof is supposed to be licensed by the authority. ”
Therefore, any person wishing to operate or provide a broadcasting service in Zambia, regardless of whether the broadcasting service is conveyed through radio frequency spectrum or any electronic communications network such as the internet, is required to obtain a broadcasting licence from the IBA,” said Mung’omba.
She said operating without a broadcasting licence amounts to a punishable offence.

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US okays electronic cigarettes

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WITH rising numbers of smokers in sub-Saharan Africa, concerns regarding risk exposure to tobacco have been well documented. The impact on the entire industry, from farmers to consumers has always been a source of concern: who will support the farmers earning a living through their trade? This could change after a landmark decision in the industry.

Following 43 months of evaluation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorised the marketing of electrically heated tobacco system called IQOS by Philip Morris International (PMI) as a modified risk tobacco product (MRTP).

This decision by the US FDA marked the first time the agency has granted marketing orders for an electronic alternative to cigarettes. It found IQOS to be “appropriate to promote the public health and is expected to benefit the health of the population as a whole.”

Considering that cigarette smoking kills more than seven million people worldwide each year, the US FDA decision opens a public health opportunity in the fight against the global tobacco epidemic. Encouraging the rapid shift from smoking cigarettes to alternatives such as IQOS – for adult smokers who have been unable or unwilling to quit – could save many lives.

While the FDA does not endorse IQOS, its decision followed a scientific review of more than one million pages of evidence submitted by PMI and took into account independent studies. The federal agency concluded that non-combustible tobacco products such as  IQOS differ from cigarettes in reducing the body’s exposure to harmful or potentially harmful chemicals.

This is consistent with earlier conclusions of regulatory and scientific bodies, that the product emits lower levels of harmful toxicants than lit cigarettes.

The finding recognizes the harm-reduction effects of the “heat-not-burn” technology, which provides smokers with nicotine, while substantially reducing the risks associated with the combustion of conventional cigarettes.

While rates of smoking have decreased in wealthy countries, they have grown in poorer nations. In sub-Saharan Africa, cigarette consumption increased by over 50 percent between 1980 and 2016. Of deaths among African adults caused by second-hand smoke, over 60 percent are among women who live and work with smokers.

There are lessons to be learned from the decision by the US FDA and similar regulatory bodies in Europe. A dogmatic approach to tobacco control, which condemns all tobacco products as equally injurious to public health, has little chance of reducing the harm of cigarettes in today’s world.

It should lower the cost of reduced risk products and make them available to adult smokers in Africa. Countries should move to include harm reduction in their arsenal of tobacco-control measures and engage the tobacco industry to find the best ways to make the new products widely available to adult smokers unable or unwilling to quit, possibly including raising taxes on conventional cigarettes, while significantly lowering them on reduced risk products;

Across Africa, where the median age is under 25, very strict measures must be put in place to protect under-age youth from gaining access to the new products, considering that they have been shown to be only better alternatives but are not risk free.

In an ideal world, humans would avoid all unnecessary substances that have negative effects on their health. Unfortunately, that is not the case and will likely never be. It will require courage and political will, but it is a public health imperative to adopt measures to reduce risks to the more than one billion smokers worldwide.

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MoH, UNICEF and SIDA announce a new US$ 5.2 million agreement in Zambia to boost essentials health services to mitigate the impact of COVID-19

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THE Swedish International Development Agency in partnership with UNICEF and the Government of Zambia have signed a K94. 6 million worth agreement with a view to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the Zambian Health sector.

The partnership is also aimed at supporting existing health services in Zambia by providing essential commodities for reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH), by procuring oxygen concentrators for hospitals in Southern, Eastern, Luapula, and Muchinga Provinces.

And Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr Kennedy Malama has thanked the partners for the support in the sector.

“This support comes at a crucial time for Zambia in the COVID-19 response and will go a long way to supporting essential health services. We thank the Government of Sweden for their generous support to the people of Zambia, especially our children,” Dr Malama said.

Part of the partnership is also lined up to provide personal protective equipment to 5,000 health workers in 983 primary health care facilities and 48 hospitals.

Swedish Ambassador to Zambia, Anna Maj Hultgård, said her country is happy to be able to make this important contribution to Zambia.

“We place great importance to supporting the health system in Zambia and essential health workers not only to empower them to safely respond to the Covid-19 Pandemic but also to ensure that essential services such as maternal, new-born, child and adolescent health and nutrition can continue with minimal disruption,” Hultgård said.

She said about one million people in Zambia are expected to benefit from essential health services and commodities supplied under the programme.

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Meet the Farmes Summit 2020

ZAMBIA: COVID-19 STATS

09 Aug 2020, 4:40 AM (GMT)

Zambia Stats

7,903 Total Cases
203 Deaths
6,431 Recovered

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