Zambia

Situation Report

Highlights

  • Zambia reported 13,446 confirmed cases and 312 deaths (2.5 per cent case fatality rate) including 12,007 recoveries (94 per cent recovery rate), as of 13 September.
  • Over 75 per cent of deaths are concentrated in high density areas in Lusaka.
  • Out of 116 districts, 68 have reported COVID-19 cases with Lusaka (63.8 per cent) and Ndola (17.5 per cent) continuing to have the highest transmission rate.
  • On 27 August, the Ministry of Health launched the National Strategy for Reducing New Infections of COVID-19 in an effort to encourage public compliance to public health measures.
  • Findings of the COVID-19 seroprevalence surveys shows that the prevalence of current infections at 8 per cent in the population survey and 6.4 per cent in the health worker survey.
Cash Assitance in Zambia
Elita and her family, recipients of the COVID-19 cash assistance, in their house in Chaisa township, Lusaka. Photo: WFP / Paul Mboshya Jr

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Zambia

Situation Report

Key Figures

10.1M
people in need
6.2M
people targeted
27
partners operational

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Zambia

Situation Report

Funding

$132.9M
requested (May-Oct 2020)
$39.1M
received
31%
funded

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Contacts

Laura Hastings

Humanitarian Affairs Officer, Zambia

Guiomar Pau Sole

Head of Communications & Information Management, Regional Office for Southern & Eastern Africa

Zambia

Situation Report
Background
Map
COVID-19 cases by district

Situation Overview

Since the first reported COVID-19 on 18 March 2020, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed 13,446 cases with 312 deaths with a case fatality rate of 2.5 per cent. At least 12,007 people recovered from COVID-19 giving it a 94 per cent recovery rate. Coronavirus daily tests in Zambia have reduced from about 2,500 to a slightly over 500, due to lack of reagents and delays disruptions in the global supply chain.

Of the 312 reported deaths, over 75 per cent were brought in dead (BID) with Lusaka reporting the highest caseload. Comparing the BID caseload in University Treatment Hospital (UTH), to the previous year’s January to July 2019 reporting period, there is a 16.9 per cent increase. According to the MOH, community transmission is the highest rate of infection with highest caseload in Lusaka and Copperbelt. The outbreak has reached all ten provinces and 68 out of 116 districts have confirmed cases increasing on a weekly basis.

Initial findings from the MOH COVID-19 Seroprevalence Survey revealed a 5 - 10 per cent prevalence among health workers and households in the community. The survey was conducted between the 2 and 30 July in six districts which had higher numbers of COVID-19 cases: Lusaka, Livingstone, Kitwe, Ndola, Nakonde and Solewzi. The survey highlighted that there was a high prevalence of COVID-19 in July and a low prevalence prior to July.  According to Professor Mulenga, Zambian Public Health Institute (ZNPHI), the survey showed that most Zambians are susceptible to COVID-19 and that more infections are occurring in the community than being reported. The full report will be published in the coming weeks.

On the 27 August, the Ministry of Health launched the National Strategy for Reducing New Infections of COVID-19 to sensitize the community on the importance of compliance to public health measures. It centres revised Health Strategy on COVID-19. The strategy has five parts including 1) rules for individuals, 2) enforcement of public health measures, 3) screening and testing, 4) knowing your status and keeping safe and 5) intensified case management. The strategy builds on and compliments the MOH recent launch Ministry of Health Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the MOH Revised standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Community Engagement. For the last two weeks of August the MOH has been disseminating the SOPs in all five provinces.

On the 7 September, the Ministry of General Education (MoGE) released findings from the School Readiness and Accountability Monitoring conducted in all ten provinces by Zambian National Education Coalition (ZANEC), UNICEF and Zambian Open Community Schools (ZOCS). The report focused on schools adherence to COVID-19 public health guidelines and assess the alternative modes of learning being implemented by MoGE. Of the 501 schools assessed, over 78 per cent had handwashing stations in every classroom and 67 per cent of schools has latrines. Only 41 per cent of schools have a water pump with Luapula province reporting the least with less than 5 per cent. Social distancing in the classroom was noted at 98 per cent and 88 per cent reported having enough masks for all learners and children. The report also highlighted that less than 23 per cent of learners were accessing alternative modes of learning (distance learning modalities). Children from rural communities had no, or limited access to alternative modes of learning due to infrastructures, access to digital technology, TV and radio’s. In addition, the report noted an increase in pregnancy with (143 out of 501 schools reported teenage pregnancy) and higher number of marriage ( 53 out of the 501 schools reported known childhood marriage) as the negative impact of staying at home.

Water Aid conducted the COVID-19 Vulnerability Assessment in Lusaka urban slums and low residential setting interviewing 431 households survey and 20 FGD with vulnerable groups. Over 31.6 per cent of household’s water sources were located outside the premises and adhering to social distancing in fetching water was reported as a challenge to 21 per cent of respondents. 49.3 per cent of households reported that they did not have designated area for handwashing and 42.5 per cent of households share their toilets with other families, further exacerbating the challenges in practicing good hygiene and social distancing. Respondents also reported that their income was affected by COVID-19. Of the 102 respondents who confirmed employment (86.9 per cent were formally employed and 38.6 per cent informally employed) 72.5 per cent of this reported that their salary was cut due to COVID-19.

On 11 September, President Lungu announced the official re-opening of schools, colleges and universities from the 14-28 September. Bars and nightclubs, under restricted hours were also granted permission to re-open as caseloads of COVID-19 has declined in the past three weeks.

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Zambia

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Education

10,269
schools with PPE and hygiene supplies
555K
pupils targeted

Needs

  • Nation-wide school closure resulting in disruption of learning for more than 4.4 million children and adolescents and the provision of critical services to millions of children and youth, including school feeding programs for disadvantaged children.

  • Teachers also face unprecedented challenges of ensuring the continuity of learning for their pupils while caring for their own and their families’ safety.

  • Prolonged school closure puts children especially girls, at increased risk of teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse, child marriage and other harmful practices.

  • Many schools in the rural area are under-resourced and ill-equipped to provide support to the students learning at home and parents are unable to support children’s learning, widening the equity gap between the well-off and worse-off in learning, potentially leading to life-long negative impact.

  • The Ministry of General Education (MoGE) COVID-19 Response and Recovery Plan highlights the continuity of learning as its core priority and presents a series of education delivery options and strategies.

Response

  • Education partners have mobilized $10.6 million for COVID-19 response which covers remote learning, capacity building, provision of supplies and capacity building for children and learners.

  • A total of 20 partners are supporting MoGE in implementation of its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Plan through mobilization of their financial resources and technical expertise.

  • Over 10,239 schools have been supported with PPE and sanitary-hygiene supplies, building capacity of teachers, sensitization of parents/ caregivers to support children’s distance learning and back to school when operation of schools will resume targeting over 550,000 children and adolescents.

  • Development of an online platform “smart revision” which contains resources and post exam papers with module answers for the grades 9-12. The platform has been developed by MoGE in collaboration with Zamtel telecommunications service provider.

  • Production of radio educational programs for the grades 1-12, including content development, editing, recording and running of the lessons.

  • Education sector partners supported in the printing and distribution of self-study materials.

  • Support in leadership training of 166 schools in how to enhance teaching and learning.

  • Conducted Schools’ Readiness Monitoring by UNICEF, ZANEC and ZOCS.

Gaps

  • Consistent representation from MOGE to inform and update sector on gaps.

  • Lack of teachers’ capacity on distance and alternative education.

  • Inadequate communication infrastructure & electricity coverage to ensure wide reach for distancing learning.

  • Difficulty in remotely monitoring of learners during school closure. There is a need of systematic information on monitoring on the situation of exam class learners and schools.

  • Lack of distance learning and self-study materials.

  • Absence of empirical data, including disaggregated data on children and schools per area, age and type of interventions and information on children’s access to education through different modalities (TV, radio, e-learning, self-study materials).

  • Lack of inter-sector communication and coordination, for example with health sector to ensure safety of learners at schools.

  • Inadequate resources for remedial learning which is tailored to the level of children’s ability/understanding after opening of school.

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Zambia

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Health

13,446
COVID-19 cases (as of 13 September)
5M
people targeted

Needs

  • The COVID-19 situation in Zambia is still on an upward trend, with 13,446 cumulative cases reported so far.

  • The country continues to experience challenges with mortality reporting, with inconsistent numbers of reported deaths relative to cases. About three quarters of the deaths are occurring in the communities which may be indicative of gaps in health seeking behavior and completeness of the surveillance system.

  • The profile of severe illness is still significant, with a high number of cases needing oxygen and life support. On the 27 August 2020, out of 80 COVID-19 cases were admitted to health facilities, 36 were on oxygen, eight in intensive care unit and one on ventilator support.

  • There is a need to increase the number of health worker trained in infection prevention and control (IPC) and to counteract the high number of health workers infected.

  • National laboratory testing capacity is still low and inconsistent with major daily changes in total tests performed. A total 346, 651, 599 and 1,400 samples were tested on 24, 25, 26 and 27 August respectively. The lab system still experiences inadequate laboratory supplies with half the testing sites not performing testing as the supplies used in the platforms are out of stock.

  • Need to increase the capacity and human resources of field teams responsible for surveillance, case investigation and contact tracing to improve the rate and quality of work.

  • In-depth gap analysis of critical diagnostics and life-saving essential health commodities including sustained and smooth provisions of oxygen therapy services at hospital to further improve the case management for COVID-19 .

  • The utilization of health facilities for routine services has declined thought to be due to fear of contracting SARS-CoV-2 in health facilities. There is a need to increase public confidence in seeking timely health care provision to avoid non COVID-19 related illness and deaths.

  • Health commodities and supplies are insecure due to strained funding of routine health services.

  • Sustain the continuity of essential health services and enhance monitoring of the consequences of COVID-19 on essential health services is critical of providing required support on time to effectively respond to broader health sector response through integrating into the routine HMIS with identifying and reporting on a number of critical core indicators regularly on certain interval.

Response

  • Health sector partners continued providing technical support, policy advocacy, and resources mobilization support to COVID-19 response in field operations countrywide.

  • Partners provided six vehicles to the sub-districts in Lusaka district to facilitate transport of responders during field operations.

  • Supported operations in the two national call centers through hiring of additional call center personnel. The centers are instrumental in addressing concerns from the community, following contacts to cases of COVID-19 and risk communication.

  • Providing technical assistance during field operations in the areas of surveillance, contact tracing, monitoring IPC compliance in health facilities, academic institutions and public places.

  • Supported the preparations for dissemination of national COVID-19 SOPs and guidelines. These are newly developed and will provide guidance to all sectors at all levels during performance of COVID-19 response functions.

  • Supported the health sector to disseminate the SOPs and guidelines to all provinces and districts in the country.

  • Training of case management clinicians in three remaining provinces of Luapula, Western and North Western. The training will be the last face-to face training that will be followed by a shift in strategy to virtual trainings and supervision with mentorship of case managers.

  • Continued supporting stabilization of oxygen therapy supplies through the rehabilitation of Oxygen Plants in 3 hospitals including University Teaching Hospital (UTH) Lusaka (Children Hospital) that will improve and ensure smooth availability of oxygen therapy to support the life-saving treatment of patients with COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. The rehabilitation of Oxygen Plants in University Teaching Hospital (UTH) Lusaka was completed and is now operational, while work will begin for Mansa General Hospital in Luapula and Lewanika General Hospital in Mongu. Sector partners organized a major visibility event officially handing over 259 oxygen concentrators, 1.3 million pairs of gloves and more than 500,000 surgical masks to the Minister of Health.

  • Supported the expansion of Levy Mwanawasa Hospital Bed Capacity from 300 to 800 through the connection of power supply by Zesco at a cost of US$225,865.85 .

  • Last mile distribution of essential health commodities to two districts in Western province with five more districts earmarked for distribution in September.

  • Orientation of 25 healthcare providers in Infection Prevention and Control in Western Province .

  • Delivery of dignity kits and hand-washing buckets in Luapula, Western and Northwestern provinces to cover maternity wings and GBV centers.

  • Monitoring SRHR activities for service delivery in response to COVID-19 pandemic in Lukulu District.

  • Development and dissemination of multimedia campaign messages on COVID-19 for young people in Western province. Four jingles and four posters were produced.

  • Training for COVID-91 Community-Based Distributors (CBDs) and Healthcare Providers in 16 districts of Western Province in provision of the Family Planning method mix in the context of COVID. The CBDs and HCPs were provided with IPC materials.

  • Reinforcing community awareness through community engagement activities across three refugee settlements (Mayukwayukwa, Mehebe and Mantapala) reaching over 90,000 refugees and host community members (45,900 female and 44,100 male).

  • Trained 20 health-care workers (11 male, 9 female), 45 community health workers (24 male, 21 female), 60 community protection workers (26 male, 34 female) and 60 community leaders in Mayukwayukwa Settlement on COVID-19.

  • Sector partners continued supporting the Government to procure and distribute supplies and commodities required for COVID-19 response in the areas of diagnostics, PPE and clinical management. During the reporting period: UNICEF procured and delivered 519,950 surgical masks, 1.3 million pairs of gloves, 266 sets of oxygen concentrators and 5,500 COVID-19 test kits (6880 Cobas and Gene-Xpert) to perform 10,000 tests. Donated 31 units of oxygen concentrator machines that have since been installed in isolation centers. Donated laboratory supplies that included 12,000 Viral Transport Media, 13,200 lab test kits and 83,520 PPEs.

  • Partners donated items to refugee settlements that included 20,000 medical masks, 9,000 surgical gloves for the use of some 70 health care workers in 12 health facilities across three settlements (Mayukwayukwa, Mehebe and Mantapala), eight megaphones (being donation from NCA) to reinforce community sensitization activities in above locations. Donated Essential Reproductive Health Commodities to the MOH including IUDs (12 months of stock), DMPA SC (2.5 months of stock), Combined Oral Contraceptives (6 months of stock), Noristerat (2.2 months of stock) worth $2.1 million.

  • Continuation of essential health services, traditional vaccines (BCG, bOPV, Td and MR) for the entire country’s three months’ requirement was procured and delivered. Procurement orders for another six months’ requirement has been placed.

  • Supported MOH disease control programs to implement plans for sustaining essential health services.

Gaps

  • Challenges in mortality reporting with inadequate systematic review and investigation of all mortalities in the community which can inform the exposure and prevalence of COVID-19. High mortality rate outside health facilities remains a challenge.

  • Ineffective surveillance including delay in notifying COVID-positive cases as well as delayed contact identification/ quarantining/ testing as needed.

  • Irregular updates on the needs and gaps of critical COVID-19 supplies.

  • Inadequate laboratory supplies to match the laboratory testing needs.

  • Lack of a well-defined COVID-19 testing strategy emphasizing both on the supply chain management of testing kits, the establishment and strengthening of the laboratory set-up and systems with sub-national level decentralized laboratory services capacity on COVID-19 in line with MOH recent directives of conducting 1000 tests per day .

  • Low compliance of the community to recommended public health measures is still evident. There is need for intensified RCCE with enforcement of the measures by all sectors. RCCE will need to be decentralized and supported by multi-channel, multisectoral approach backed-up by strong policy advocacy and evidence-based locally contextualized community mobilization interventions to address the stigma and skepticism.

  • High rates of infection among health workers that is likely to affect staff morale and capacity for service delivery. Inadequate adherence to IPC recommendations by health workers .

  • Inadequate isolation capacity in some districts especially those furthest from provincial headquarters.

  • Community continued use of health facilities for routine health care .

  • Inadequate stocks of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in health facilities .

  • Lack of a comprehensive service delivery monitoring framework and a robust system to monitor .

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Zambia

Situation Report

Sector Status

Food Security

1M
people targeted
29,000
HHs received ECT of 400 Kwacha per month

Needs

  • While the full extent of the impact of COVID-19 on food security is still being assessed as the pandemic situation evolves, the containment measures have already spurred far reaching impacts on the country’s socioeconomic conditions and the livelihoods of many vulnerable and low-income people in urban and peri-urban settings, limiting their ability to meet their food and nutrition needs.

  • On 12 August, the sector completed data collection for the second rapid food security assessment in the urban districts of Livingstone and Kitwe, aimed at ascertaining the impacts of COVID-19 on livelihoods and food security among urban populations residing in high density and low-income areas. A similar assessment conducted in Lusaka and Kafue districts revealed the pandemic had affected the quality, quantity and diversity of meals accessed and consumed among assessed population. The assessment established that over 180,000 people in 50 disadvantaged, high-density and low-income were food insecure in the two districts and in need of humanitarian assistance.

Response

  • Since 25 August, the sector is providing the second batch payments of the Emergency Cash Transfers (ECT) for food security in Lusaka and Kafue districts, targeting 180,000 vulnerable and food insecure people residing in 50 disadvantaged, high-density and low-income urban and peri-urban areas. The sector is targeting 36,011 households, with each household receiving K800 (about $44) via mobile money services, to cover their needs for next two months (October and November). So far, over 29,000 households have been paid. This follows the initial payment made to 17,541 households in July, which helped 87,705 people to meet their needs. The sector will implement the ECT for six months from July 2020.

  • The sector has continued coordinating with other UN agencies and the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS) in responding to the impacts of COVID-19. Through the United Nations Joint Support Programme for Social Protection (UNJPSP) and the Government, the sector increased awareness activities in Lusaka, through public addresses, meetings with community leaders and radio programmes leveraging various media houses to ensure that targeted households are sensitized on the objective of emergency cash assistance and how to redeem their cash via mobile money services. This is in addition to promoting procurement and the consumption of nutritious foods among the beneficiary households.

  • Development of the Food Security Pack (FSP) component of the Zambia Integrated Social Protection System (ZISPIS) has been completed and plans to support MCDSS to start implementing the FSP programme through ZISPIS is underway. From 19-20 August, a two-day workshop was held focusing on operational decisions of the system as well as modalities of further financial support for the roll out of the system.

Gaps

  • To implement the COVID-19 Food Security Response, the sector requires a total of $48.9 million, of which $11 million has been secured so far, enough to reach vulnerable and food insecure people in Lusaka and Kafue and to expand to other areas. The sector needs additional $37.9 million to expand its response and to reach all the targeted districts.

  • Sector members have continued to mobilize funding in order to reach the targeted populations impacted by COVID-19.

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Zambia

Situation Report

Sector Status

Nutrition

60,783
severely acute malnourished children
1.7M
people targeted

Needs

  • Need for continued provision of PPEs for health workers (HWs) and community health volunteers (CHVs) for service delivery at facility level and to strengthen community outreach services.

  • Nationally, the severe acute malnutrition (SAM) programme coverage remains low, at 43 per cent compared to 70 per cent national target, cure rate still at 65 per cent compared to the 75 per cent national target.

  • National estimated SAM prevalence is 1.5 per cent SAM with an estimated SAM burden of 133,902 children under age 5. Estimated SAM cases are 60,783 and 131,962 expected moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) cases. SAM patients are nine times more likely to die than well-nourished children.

  • There is need to increase health worker and volunteers capacity to provide SAM management and infant and young child feeding (IYCF) counselling on prevention and treatment interventions at facility and community levels. Currently, less than 50 per cent are trained against a target of 80 per cent.

  • There is need to scale up promotion and protection of the key recommendations for infant feeding and protecting breastfeeding in the context of COVID-19.

Response

  • Together with WASH sector, conducted facility level needs assessment with the aim of providing infection prevention and control supplies in Outpatient Therapeutic Programme (OTPs) and to ensure continuity of services targeting 100 ITPs/OTPs.

  • Sector partners developed tools on gap analysis tool to be used in identifying the gaps in human resource, capacity building and equipment at facility level. Findings from the completed tools will ensure targeted and efficient nutritional response.

  • Preparations and roll out of trainings targeting CHVs and HWs in coordination with Provincial Health Officers (PHO) and District Health Officers (DHOs) ongoing. The trainings will cover management of SAM and IYCF and targeting the 58 districts.

Gaps

  • Only 58 districts have consistent stocks of RUTF with the rest of the country without RUTF to manage SAM children and more than 50 per cent of facilities are without therapeutic feeds due to funding gaps.

  • In the context of COVID-19, inaccessibility due to bad terrain and roads and low community outreach services, not all beneficiaries can be reached. There is need to consider programme adaptations, for example family MUAC for early identification and self-referrals of wasted children if funds are availed.

  • Most of the 58 drought-prone districts have poor network and accessibility to some facilities affecting efficient distribution of supplies and timeliness of report submission.

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Zambia

Situation Report

Sector Status

Protection (GBV and Child Protection)

21,624
people received psychosocial counselling
296k
people targeted

Needs

  • There is increased need for information and response GBV services.

  • A report by Childline indicates that numbers of COVID-19 calls related to GBV have increased by 22 per cent since the outbreak of COVID-19; this includes increase in number of cases in need of child protection and mental health psychosocial support services.

  • There is a need to increase the number of safe shelters for GBV survivors.

Response

  • A total of 1,021 (553 female & 468 male) people from Gwembe, Sioma, Lunga and Shangombo districts received psychosocial support and information through the phone-based services delivered by Lifeline/Childline Zambia.

  • About 19,590 people (11,255 female & 8,335 male) were sensitized through drama, and outreach by community volunteers and Community Welfare Assistant Committees (CWACs).

  • In collaboration with YWCA, 500 face masks were distributed in four chiefdoms in Lunga District.

  • A total of 503 people (276 female & 227 male) were reached with integrated GBV and COVID-19 information Gwembe Sioma, Lunga and Shangombo districts .

  • Radio programmes were conducted to sensitize communities on information on COVID-19 and GBV prevention.

  • As a way of strengthening GBV information desk in Gwembe and Lunga districts, mentorship was provided to 120 volunteers working on GBV information desks in relation to Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) and GBV risk identification and protection mechanisms including COVID-19 aimed at reducing GBV incidences and COVID-19 cases.

  • Following myths and misconceptions surrounding dignity kits in Lunga district, community sensitizations were conducted in all the four chiefdoms with a resultant effect of community appreciating the importance of dignity kits.

  • Using mobile phones, protection counselling and guidance to refugee and asylum seekers who wish to get information from UNHCR branch and field offices has continued.

  • Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS) has reached to total of 946 (453F & 493M) children without parental or family care and have been provided with appropriate alternative care arrangements.

  • Lifeline/Childline has reached a total 21,624 people (8,505 children and 13,119 parents) with community-based mental health and psychosocial support through their toll-free call centre and online chats.

  • A total of 427 UN personnel & partners completed training on GBV risk mitigation & referrals for survivors, including for Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse .

  • A total of 14,318 children and adults that have access to a “safe and accessible channel to report Sexual Exploitation and Abuse” through MCDSS and Childline services across the whole country .

  • Provision of PPEs for frontline workers and GBV clients .

  • Pre-positioning of shelter services when need arises.

  • In order to promote cyber security and to protect children, the Child-Online Strategy was launched by Zambia Information Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) in partnership with Lifeline/Childline and UNICEF.

Gaps

  • The number of vulnerable women and adolescent girls in reproductive age is significant compared to the available resources. This raises particular concern in the context of COVID-19.

  • It has been difficult to communicate to all refugees who would need guidance and information through protection lines as some do not have mobile phones even though the call centre operates on a toll free basis .

  • An SGBV case that was due for a court hearing in the period under review could not proceed but adjourned due to COVID-19 leading to hampered access to justice services.

  • Limited information/data to guide decision making.

  • Mantampala refugee settlement camp highlighted the need for group psychosocial support for examination sitting classes in schools to support and strengthen COVID-19 prevention measures in schools.

  • Increasing COVID-19 cases negatively impacting expedient implementation of interventions.

  • Limited PPE for all service providers especially the non-medical service providers such as social workers, paralegals, police and Judiciary.

  • Digital solutions for GBV prevention and response amidst COVID-19 are lacking.

  • Handwashing facilities for the safe parks at Mantampala settlement have worn out and require replacement.

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Zambia

Situation Report

Sector Status

Social Protection/ Multisectoral Cash

118K
people targeted with ZMK400 per person

Needs

  • Estimated 7.6 million people nationally are affected directly and indirectly by the COVID-19, especially in terms of the socio-economic and cultural impacts and the Government’s responses to COVID-19.

  • An estimated 1.2 million people in urban and per-urban settlements are extremely poor and vulnerable with poor access to health, alternative learning options for their children, limited income-earning opportunities and overall low access to key services.

Response

  • A COVID-19 Emergency Cash Transfer Programme document has been finalized in collaboration with the UN, donors and Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS). The programme document has now been incorporated into the existing UN Joint Programme on Social Protection (UNJPSP) under the shock-responsive social protection outcome.

  • Bilateral discussions with donors (Sweden, DFID, Ireland, KfW and EU) are being formalized and preparatory work (payment delivery mechanism, grievance and redress mechanisms and agreements with mobile network operators) is underway with transfer payments to beneficiaries expected to begin in August 2020.

  • Cross-sectoral coordination with the food security sector—where a cash-based food security transfer is also being planned—has taken place to ensure consistency in transfer values, targeting approaches, communication and coordination for the avoidance of confusion among beneficiaries.

  • Linkages between the emergency cash transfers and nutrition, WASH, health, disability and child protection have also been established and incorporated in the overall COVID-19 social protection response.

  • The vertical and horizontal targeting protocols have been finalized and the ECT programme was officially launched by the Government on the 28 July.

Gaps

  • There is still an unmet need of 400,000 people who are extremely vulnerable in urban and peri-urban areas. Current funding from commitments and pledges will still not meet the full 1,200,000 people extremely vulnerable.

  • Government fiscal resources for social protection has also been stagnant, with only ZMK 20 million (approximately $1,101,313) released from treasury to the MCDSS for the social protection response.

  • Funding commitments have taken longer than expected as contribution negotiations are still on-going with donor partners.

  • Intra and inter-sectoral coordination has been challenging at times due to different approaches, targeting methods and transfer values .

  • Capacity at district level to respond quickly to additional beneficiaries that are currently not registered on the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme is inadequate, creating possible time delays.

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Zambia

Situation Report

Sector Status

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

4.6M
reached with hygiene messages
1.6M
people targeted

Needs

  • According to Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) - 2018, more than 36 per cent of Zambia’s population lacked access to basic drinking water services while more than 67 per cent lacked access to basic sanitation services in 2018. An estimated 10 per cent of the population practiced open defecation while 76 per cent of households did not have access to a handwashing facility with soap and water in 2018.

  • Lack of adequate WASH services may pose serious challenge for effective prevention and control of COVID-19. For effective COVID-19 response, it is, therefore, critical not only to sustain the existing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services but also scale-up these to reach the un-served and under-served vulnerable population, as well as meet the increased demand.

  • Against the above backdrop, the WASH response is meant to contribute to GRZ’s wider efforts aimed at reduction of exposure to and prevention of the human to human transmission of COVID-19 through strengthening infection prevention and control (IPC) and sustaining a scale-up of WASH services and promotion of appropriate hygiene behaviours.

  • The critical needs in the WASH sector include strengthening of WASH and IPC measures in the health care facilities and schools; improvement and continuity of water supply to vulnerable communities, especially in the rural and high-density urban areas; provision of critical supplies including soap and handwashing stations to vulnerable populations and hygiene promotion together with infection prevention and control messaging .

Response

  • A total of 34 health care facilities and COVID-19 treatment centers benefitted from WASH and IPC improvement measures in Shiwang’andu, Mpika, Kanchibaya, Lavushi Manda, Solwezi, Mbala, Kasama, Monze, Livingstone and Kitwe districts.

  • A total of 1,002 health-care facility staff and community health workers were trained in IPC in Sinazongwe, Zimba, Monze, Mwandi, Shiwang’andu, Kanchibaya, Mpika, Livingstone, Kazungula, Lavushi Manda and other districts in Muchinga, Northern, Luapula, Central, Eastern, Southern, Copperbelt, Western and North Western Provinces.

  • Approximately 4,750 people were reached with safe water in Zimba and Sinazongwe districts.

  • Thirty-four schools benefited from hygiene supplies, including soap and hand sanitisers, in Lusaka and Livingstone districts.

  • An estimated 6,595 vulnerable people were provided soap and/or other critical WASH supplies in different districts in Muchinga, Northern, Luapula, Central, Eastern, Southern, Copperbelt, Western and North Western Provinces.

  • An estimated 4,670,000 people were reached with messages on safe hygiene practices in different districts in Lusaka, Muchinga, Northern, Luapula, Central, Eastern, Southern, Copperbelt, Western and North Western Provinces.

Gaps

  • Planned activities to support for the improvement and continuity of WASH services have not yet started due to funding gaps.

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Zambia

Situation Report

Sector Status

Risk Communication and Community Engagement

28K
monthly calls on COVID-19 received
4M
people targeted

Needs

At the backdrop of significant community transmission, rapid increase in brought in dead (BID) cases, low compliance to public health measures such as physical distancing, using masking and hand hygiene, there is increased need to engage the community to build trust and address misconceptions.

A recent phone in study on Health & COVID-19 Mitigation conducted between June-July by Innovation for Poverty Action (IPA), highlighted the following community concerns:

  • About 10 per cent of respondents say they delayed or skipped needed health-care visits since mid-March. Over 50 per cent of respondents say they delayed or skipped needed health-care visits due to concerns about COVID-19 .

  • Over 25 per cent of respondents say they never stayed home in the past week.

  • Almost 80 per cent of respondents say they washed their hands more often this week than before mid-March and have worn a cloth face mask in the past week. Women are more likely than men to stay at home.

  • Almost 40 per cent of respondents say they feel their household is at risk of contracting COVID-19. For those who do not feel at risk, over 80 per cent of respondents say that it is because they are following preventive measures.

  • Almost 60 per cent of respondents say their main concern related to the effects of the coronavirus crisis on Zambians is lack of money.

Response

  • To address the current situation of increased community transmission, a re-branded strategic initiative was launched by MOH to encourage the community take a more center stage to halt the progress of the epidemic.

  • RCCE partners supported a community-based campaign in response to the strategic focus intended to reach about 2 million people in Lusaka, strategically targeting the markets, households in the compounds, bus terminals and other public places, to promote public adherence to good practices to keep well and safe, including handwashing promotion. The campaign engages 50 public announcers and 200 community-based volunteers to reach the target population, including the vulnerable.

  • Over 2,000 advocacy brochures were printed, and another 10,000 development and printing of low literacy brochures are in the pipeline to support the campaign.

  • RCCE partners are engaging chiefs and village heads in 209 Chiefdoms in advocacy meetings across the country including distribution of revised IEC materials.

  • RCCE support is also increasingly being picked up by high-level policy makers, especially the Minister of Health through frequent meetings with faith leaders, highlighting community influencers participation in the Ministers’ Press briefing to build trust on the public measures.

  • High level collaboration with inspectoral ministers continued through the policymakers.

  • IEC materials and recorded public service announcements (PSA) in flash drives was distributed for use in long & short distance buses through the Ministry of Transport and Communication.

  • The Social Listening, June-July report has been cleared which focuses on community perceptions on use of masks, the notion that “the worst had passed” etc. The report is being widely shared among many platforms.

  • The mapping of communication initiatives with GRID 3 (an interactive community engagement mapping dashboard) is being rolled out in Lusaka with a newly constructed dashboard and online survey tools.

  • Efforts are underway to strengthen the scope and capacity of the Call Centre as it continues to reach 28,000 monthly calls on average.

  • RCCE sector partners continues to support a COVID-19 radio show on the country’s major commercial radio station, and other community radio stations, including with interviews with partners advocating on COVID-19 prevention for disabled persons and to challenge the stigmatization of COVID-19 survivors.

Gaps

  • To intensify RCCE activities across 10 provinces additional capacities and resources are required.

  • Lack of public trust and adherence to public health measures will require time and efforts

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Zambia

Situation Report
Coordination

General Coordination

In May, the Government of Zambia COVID-19 Multisectoral Contingency & Response Plan. The UN and partners developed the the COVID-19 Emergency Appeal in line with Government’s Multisectoral Plan, was officially launched by the Vice President Inonge Wina. The UN and partners’ Appeal requires $132.9 million to support the COVID-19 multisectoral response targeting 6.2 million people.

WHO continues as the technical co-lead agency supporting the Ministry of Health and Zambia Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) overall coordination of the COVID-19 response. The United Nations Resident Coordinators Office is co-leading UN response across with line ministries as lead and UN agencies co-leading sector responses.

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