Dispelling the myths – Safe Hands workshops

4 May 2021.

Ensuring schools have accurate information on COVID-19 is essential to help keep children, teachers and communities safe.

As the pandemic has spread, so too has misleading information around COVID-19. False claims continue to circulate resulting in many people struggling to know who or what to believe.

We wanted to ensure that schools had access to accurate and trustworthy information.

Through our Safe Hands programme we held COVID-19 awareness sessions at Bissell Community School, Mpamba Primary School, Mukuyu Community School and Maano Primary School.

57 people attended the workshops, made up of Headteachers, teachers, parents and community representatives.

Led by Mr Micheal Mwamba, Disease Surveillance Officer from Zambia National Public Health Institute, the sessions identified a number of alarming myths circulating including “that COVID-19 is not real, it is a way for the Ministry of Health to make money from donors” and “when you are vaccinated against COVID-19, you risk becoming deformed”.

The sessions explored the cause, prevention and treatment of COVID-19, empowering people with correct information.

Mr Michael Mwamba , Disease Surveillance from Officer Public Health Officer from Zambia National Public Health Institute giving Covid-19 awareness talk at Mpamba Primary School
Mr Michael Mwamba, from Zambia National Public Health Institute, supporting Mpamba Primary School with reliable information on COVID-19

Teacher Mr. Godfrey Chileshe shared a few words:

“The meeting was successful. It has come at a right time when as a school, we needed much information on how we can handle our learners and also sensitize the community where we are coming from on Covid-19… Some myths and stereotypes which parents and other community members have on Covid-19, will be addressed.”

Information posters were given to each school to be displayed in key strategic places.

With the roll out of vaccination programme across Zambia, and concerns about a possible third wave of the pandemic, access to credible information has never been more important.