PUBLIC Health Association of Zambia (PHAZ) national coordinator Christopher Kalumba says government has done its homework, and it is now up to citizens to ensure they take personal responsibility with regards the COVID-19 pandemic.

And Kalumba has called for Continuous Professional Development Programmes (CDP) on COVID-19 among health workers.

In an interview, Friday, Kalumba said Zambians needed to take responsibility by following COVID-19 preventive measures.

“So the great responsibility then remains to the Zambian people in terms of how they should prevent COVID-19. You know the government has done its own homework. It’s just up to us, we don’t need to be reminded that when I am in public places I need to put on a face mask. Those things are the usual things now where we don’t need to be reminded – putting on facemasks and also in time to time, you need to get tested for COVID-19 you see how you are faring when it comes to COVID,” he said.

“So there must be such great responsibility from ourselves. So in terms of blaming government, I think it won’t suffice. We know just like HIV/AIDS we cannot blame anybody. We know that people need protection whenever they have sex. People know about HIV. Just like also these other non-communicable diseases, [some] people have these diseases as a result of careless, poor decision-making in terms of their lifestyles. So if people are recording or if people are having increases in terms of non-communicable diseases, we cannot blame the government, people are aware. Even COVID-19 at this time where we have reached they are aware. Even a person who is at nursery school is aware about COVID-19. So it is the great responsibility like I have mentioned to ourselves now as citizens on how do we prevent COVID-19.”

Kalumba said just like other diseases, citizens needed to learn and live with COVID-19.

“Government is doing its effort. They have increased the coverage in terms of vaccination. These other big international organisations are funding local organisations that are doing agendas to do with COVID prevention. So there is continuous prevention of COVID-19 at that large scale which you don’t need to debate. So what I am saying is we should coexist with COVID-19. Just like I am saying that just like we have HIV/AIDS, just like we have these other diseases, we have to learn and live with COVID-19. We also need to do all those preventative measures that we are told always without being reminded,” he said.

And Kalumba called for Continuous Professional Development Programmes on COVID-19 among the health workers.

“There must be a lot of CPD (Continuous Professional Development Programmes). So these CPDs should also concentrate on COVID. So there must be some kind of training on COVID-19. So what I mean is that you do not really always need to learn about COVID-19 from university or college, but also there must be some kind of continuous professional development that people need to be trained on COVID-19 prevention so that those skills are continuously seen in the human resource. Because it is not automatic that anyone can be put to the department of maybe COVID-19 but we need people who have some kind of training,” said Kalumba.