PUBLIC Health Association of Zambia national coordinator Christopher Kalumba says there is need to add COVID-19 to the education syllabus in order to boost the fight against the pandemic through enhanced knowledge.

In an interview, Thursday, Kalumba said COVID-19 was here to stay and that incorporating it into the syllabus would help improve government’s response to the pandemic.

“If possible, the syllabus for those doing health courses, COVID-19 should be part of it. Just like nurses, these other people in health learn about HIV and AIDS in detail because those are the common diseases that we have. When you are being trained as a health worker, there are always some common health problems that we face as Zambians and those should be part of the syllabus. You cannot be a clinical officer but you don’t know about HIV, you don’t know about malaria, you don’t know [about] Covid. So meaning that if Covid has never been in the syllabus it should be put in these institutions, what is COVID-19, how do people get COVID-19, how do you treat, how to you manage COVID-19,” he said.

“I think Covid has come to stay just like we have flu. But they (health practitioners), need to have specific information and knowledge. To some extent, we will even find better ways of responding to COVID-19 depending on some research that will be implemented by these institutions because they have also taken interest in studying Covid. When we had that Covid maybe there was not much time, what we needed to do was to adopt what the World Health Organisation and what other countries were saying. We also adopt and start responding but this time it gives us more time to have space of study.”

Kalumba said doing so could also help people to learn more about the virus whilst they were still in universities.

“We conduct research but these researches that we normally do are not effective to add value to what we are going through, they are not applicable to our situation. So when we also add COVID-19 to be part of the syllabus, people will start to learn a lot whilst they are at universities. It just improves the capacity building among health workers in terms of response to some of the health problems, especially Covid-19,” said Kalumba.