Neno DHO Worried with Low COVID-19 Uptake

UNICEF, PACHI and DHO officials interacting with the parties UNICEF, PACHI and DHO officials interacting with the parties - pic by Steve Kalungwe

Neno district hospital authorities say they have exhausted all the channels available to woo people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with only 17 percent vaccinated against the initial target of 81 thousand people.

Neno district hospital Director of Health and Social Services Dr. Grace Momba, has told Zodiak Online today that the district targeted to vaccine 81 thousand people since the onset of the disease but it has managed to jab only 13 thousand.

"We were given a figure of eighty-one thousand people to vaccine since the first case was detected in our district but we have only reached 13 thousand people with these jabs, which is not a good figure", she said.

The DHSS attributes the low uptake to long distances, topography, myths and misconceptions together with cultural beliefs as some of the reasons.

A representative from the Integrated Disease Surveillance Response team at Neno DHO, Sekanabo Kapira says by 30 September and December this year they were tasked to vaccinate 30 and 50 percent respectively which has failed.

"We appeal to people and other organisations to assist us with new ways of reaching out to the people," narrated Kapira.

For this reason, the Neno DHO and UNICEF through the Parent and Child Health Initiative (PACHI) have called on political parties in the country to take advantage of their influence and woo the people to go for the jabs, saying the disease is still claiming lives.

A Neno senior citizen, Leonard Mphidza has asked the DHO to take advantage of the presence of many people at political rallies to spread messages of the vaccines.

"We command a large following and if medical personnel from the hospital come with their jabs, I am sure people will be able to follow our words and vaccine," advised Mphidza.

On his remarks, former DPP councilor McPherson Dzimadzi concur with Mphidza saying the Neno DHO should take advantage of any gathering and take with them the vaccines. He included at football matches.

The parties also agreed to unite and hold a solidarity rally solely to demonstrate to the people that the vaccines are not demonic but a preventive medicine.

"I believe through that rally, we will take a motivator to speak with the people on the virus and will take an example by taking the jab himself", said Sam Nyambi from the UTM party.

The hospital has been using radio adverts, Mobile Vans, drama, music, football matches and door to do campaign as a way of calling people to get vaccinated.

Cumulatively, the district registered 1024 active cases with 56 admissions and 26 deaths. 23 died last year and three this year.

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