Steering COVID fight at front line

ZNPHI national lead doctor for COVID-19 case management Francis Mupeta with UTH registrar of Infectious Diseases Unit Mundia Mwitumwa (left) and biomedical scientist Chishala Musonda (right) in a COVID-19 lab at UTH. PICTURE: ZIO MWALE

AS the coronavirus evolves and continues to take a toll on all social dimensions of health, Zambia has a dedicated team of frontline health workers who are fighting the disease with great courage.
These are not only providing medical care to COVID-19 patients, but also conducting research about the novel coronavirus, which to date has given scientists around the world many unanswered questions.
Levy Mwanawasa Teaching Hospital in Lusaka is the country’s biggest COVID-19 isolation centre where hundreds of patients have been treated.
Here, medical personnel work under immense pressure to save lives. It is also here where the Daily Mail caught up with Francis Mupeta, the national lead doctor for COVID-19 case management under the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI).
Dr Mupeta, who is also acting head, Infectious Diseases Unit, at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), talks about what it takes to spearhead the battle against COVID-19.
He also shares challenges and milestones (also shy to call them as such) in the noble fight.
Question: How were you selected to lead the fight against COVID-19 in Zambia?
Dr Mupeta is an infectious disease specialist. When the disease broke out in other parts of the world, he was trained by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in COVID-19 management, way before the pandemic spread to Africa.
After that, a COVID-19 pandemic structure called Incidence Management Structure (IMS) was formed under ZNPHI, which is mandated to handle all epidemics and disease surveillance in the country.
“I went for a training early this year. When I came back, I was to work under the IMS to establish structures that were going to CLICK TO READ MORE

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