Coronavirus (11) COVID-19 posters (2)

28 March, 2020

Dear all,

As I mentioned, the Zambia Ministry of Health published two posters and banners about COVID-19. Reviewing them, they raise some questions. I would love to hear your thoughts...

Poster 1

Gives correct advice about handwashing, avoiding contact with people with flu/cold, and safe sneezing/coughing. But it also says: "Cook meat, eggs and other animal products thoroughly before eating" and "Avoid unprotected contact with live farm and wild animals". I don't see these directions in the global WHO advice

Poster 2

Advises anyone with coronavirus symptoms to 'go to the nearest health facility immediately'. By contrast, WHO advice says: 'Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.'

Neither poster gives advice on reduced social contact, such as avoiding handshake.

The press statement on the Zambia Ministry of Health website indicates measures brought into force with immediate effect include the following (among others):

- Mandatory isolation of all suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19.

- A mandatory requirement for the provision of adequate and accessible facilities for hand hygiene at all public places including shopping malls, markets and other trading places, restaurants, bars, bus stations, places of worship, schools, offices, and other congregate settings. Hand hygiene facilities should include soap and running water, or alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

- Restriction of close personal contact such as handshakes and hugs, particularly in congregate settings such as schools, offices, places of worship, and others.

- Social distancing of at least one meter is encouraged when an individual is showing respiratory symptoms such as cough and/or sneezing. Individuals showing such symptoms are urged to stay at home and avoid interacting with the public.

- Restriction of unnecessary public gatherings.

I could not find any national information or guidance on coronavirus on the WHO Zambia Country Office website.



HIFA profile: Yina Garcia Lopez has a PhD in Public Health, Miguel Hernández University, Spain, and a BA in Social Communication and Journalism, The University of North, Colombia. She is currently based in Edinburgh, UK. yinaliz.garcia AT