Govt health programmes elate teachers

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Teachers in Mufumbwe district of the North Western province have commended government for  the health programmes being implemented in the area .

The teachers said government should continue putting in place programmes that promote good health among teachers in the country.

The teachers said this on the sidelines of a Health Market Day where teachers and community members accessed free medical services such as Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT), malaria test, and cervical cancer screening.

The programme was organised by the Anti-Aids Teachers Association of Zambia (AATAZ) and the USAID funded Strengthening Educational Performance (STEP) UP Zambia and was aimed at linking quality health care to education.

Leonard Phiri, a teacher at Kalende Secondary school, challenged fellow teachers to know their health status.

Mr Phiri said this would help them make informed decisions and access medical services.

Another teacher, Chrispin Sakwanda, in supporting the programme said it had helped him access health services which were otherwise difficult to access in the area.

“This is very beneficial to me and my family because we are starting a new life and we will be able to take precautions whenever we interact and involve ourselves in social activities,” mr Sakwanda said.

Another beneficiary, a teacher at Kizela Basic School, Angela Mumba, said government should partner with more stakeholders to provide health services to the people.

Meanwhile, acting Mufumbwe District Commissioner  Patson Mulaisho said teachers remain an important human resource for the government.

 Mr Mulaisho, who is also the District Administrative Officer  said having teachers constantly falling sick impacts negatively on education delivery.

Mr Mulaisho alluded that the market day would accord teachers an opportunity to freely access medical services .

“We used to know that diseases like diabetes and blood pressure were for old and rich people but today it is right in our schools and communities,” Mr Mulaisho said.

Speaking earlier, AATAZ Executive Director, Alice Chitomfwa, said AATAZ remains committed to improving performance in schools through the provision of health services to teachers.

  “This is not a political function but Government has provided a working environment for other stake holders and NGOs to operate freely and to help the Government where it cannot meet such programs” Ms Chitomfwa said.