Chief Mumena of the Kaonde speaking people of Kalumbila district in North-western province says the post COVI-19 era would bring changed lifestyles among Zambians.
Chief Mumena said after the COVID-19 , he expects to see a critical change in the manner Zambia and her citizens will survive the after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic adding that this demands critical thinking.
“The dress code has changed because of COVID-19… from what I see, life will not be the same again and the new normal is to mask up. I am sure even after we are done with this, every facet of our economy and our lives would be changed.
“Therefore it becomes critical that we engage ourselves into critical thinking to see how best we are going to survive in these circumstances because if not we will become part of history,” he said.
Chief Mumena stated that COVID-19 is a wakeup call to the various think tanks and various aspects of society to begin to think of how people are going to live beyond the disease.
“As much as there is a lockdown, social distancing and all these other things, I think it is a wakeup call to the various think tanks and various aspects of society to begin to think of how we are going to live beyond this, in the short and long term,” he said.
He also expressed worry at the myths surrounding blood donation in the rural areas.
“The one thing that I would want to look at seriously is the issue of blood when it comes to HIV/AIDS testing and the requirement to pick blood, it has been compounded with so many myths and unfortunately this is a necessary programme which has been overtaken by events because of too many myths and we need to address those myths very seriously…. especially that we have just been through problems like the gassing incidents, I think that the communities have become very sceptical, we need open forum discussions in order to clear these myths and the people in the media need to bring up these discussions so that everybody knows that we are safe,” he said.
And commenting on prostate cancer that has affected a number of men in the country, Chief Mumena says he realises that disease needs equal attention and care with cervical cancer in women.
“I realize that we have a challenge when it comes to the cancer that is affecting the men…prostate cancer. I think it has been eclipsed by cervical cancer and the men are suffering quietly and dying quietly, they are only coming to the hospital when the situation is already too late,” he said.
The traditional leader said this at his palace today when Kalumbila district commissioner Robinson Kalota accompanied by Ministry of Health and John Snow Incorporation (JSI) dignitaries.
The JSI is spearheading the SAFE (Supporting an AIDS Free Era) project in Kalumbila, Solwezi and Mushindamo districts.
Chief Mumena called for more support towards prostate cancer, especially through the implementation of deliberate policies and programmes.
“I think in one way or the other there may not be a lot of that support. Prostate cancer has been a silent killer for most of our men, it is actually affecting too many people but the men are dying quietly, they do not easily come out…so we need to have a deliberate policy and programme that is going to look at this.
“Just as much as we have special youth corner and special women’s corner… can we also consider a special male corner for the counselling of men at various levels. Just the way we have been doing for VMMC (Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision), we can also do the same for men even at least some discussion programmes so that we raise awareness,” he said.
And Mr Kalota said it is a plus for the district to be considered for health programmes by organisations such as JSI working with the Ministry of Health, as gestures like this can help the district make headways on various health matters.
Meanwhile, district Health Director, Dr Chiluba Kabalika said leaders must take advantage of every opportunity to educate people on health matters.
Dr Kabalika also praised chief Mumena for his tireless efforts to educate his community on various issues of concern.