National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Public Trust, has asked people to desist from stigmatizing those who are tested Covid-19 positive, saying the development could lead to the patients dying due to loss of hope rather than the disease itself.
Nice Public Trust Civic Education Facilitation Expert for Chiradzulu district, Clemence Sendeza, made the remarks during the sensitization meeting on COVID-19 pandemic heard in the area of Group Village Headman (GVH) Mwitha, Traditional Authority (TA) Chitera, where the organization brought together members and leaders from the community.
The meeting brought together members from the area including traditional and religious leaders, mothers, youths and the marginalized groups, and representatives from education and health sector.
Sendeza said: “We feel that issues of stereotype, discrimination and stigma need to be tackled because we have had incidents whereby when some people are known to have been found positive for COVID-19, instead of welcoming them, the community chose to discriminate them a development which lead some victims to commit suicide.”
However, he reminded the participants that being found positive for the virus does not mean the end of life as more people are recovering and live their normal life.
In his remarks, Group Village Headman Mwitha, applauded NICE Trust for the initiative saying his subjects were lacking credible messages on the pandemic and he therefore called on more organizations to borrow a leaf from NICE Public Trust initiative.
He further bemoaned that his area has also been a victim of the pandemic citing that due to the directive from the government to close the schools in March, as a result of the pandemic, one of the schools in his area, Nkhande CDSS, has registered eight teen pregnancies.
And one of the participants, Madalena Chisulo, said as a woman she is happy to learn the truth about the covid-19 and she is ready to take part in the fight against the pandemic.
During the meeting NICE Public Trust also sensitized the participants on good governance and human rights issues.