MINISTRY of Health Permanent Secretary Dr Lackson Kasonka says Eastern Province turned out in huge numbers to get vaccinated during the Nc’wala ceremony.

In an interview, Dr Kasonka said Paramount Chief Mpezeni’s Covid-19 vaccination advocacy bore positive results, with about 355 people getting vaccinated during the ceremony.

“Every Tuesday and Friday, we hold Covid update meetings where we generate data and information that the minister speaks later in the daily update and then, also where we generate statistics of ourselves just to know what is happening in the country. It’s a virtual meeting where we connect all provinces around. So we sent teams, they traveled to Eastern Province to go and look at the statistics and data that has been generated, of course the Nc’wala ceremony created a lot vaccinations, so as we are reporting, we had over 355 vaccinations in Eastern Province during the Nc’wala ceremony week alone,” he said.

And Dr Kasonka said Chief Mpezeni’s “no jab no Nc’wala” declaration helped the Ministry of Health.

“Paramount Chief Mpezeni started talking about the vaccinations two weeks before the event and directed all his subjects to speak vaccinations and said everyone coming to Nc’wala should get vaccinated, so that really helped and that’s what we targeted and got what we wanted but this is only preliminary information and the actual information will come when they have compiled the statistics,” he stated.

He said health practitioners didn’t just compile Covid-19 statistics but also other health related data.

“So there were teams there, Zambia Public of Health Institute and other staff from Ndeke house were in Eastern Province doing the compilation not only the Covid statistics but also other health related data that would have arose as a result of Nc’wala but most importantly, the Covid vaccinations. So primarily, it showed a very obvious search for vaccinations, with many people turning out for both the primary series and the booster vaccinations, which is very good,” said Dr Kasonka.