WORKERS' COMPENSATION CORNER with MAYBIN NKHOLOMBA
WHILE the meaning of all virtues has changed overtime, the application of the virtue of cleanliness has perhaps fluctuated, the most with varied ideas of what it constitutes. For ancient Egyptians or Babylonians, cleanliness meant showering water from aqueducts or simply from servants pouring water on you. In ancient Roman culture, it means rubbing your body with oil and dust and then adding a layer of perspiration from a day of work or play.
For us at Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board, it means using brooms to clean our offices and surroundings every last Friday of the month. This practice has become part of our culture, at least since the introduction of the ‘Keep Zambia Clean Campaign”.The cleaning programme has gained momentum in light of the cholera outbreak. Readers may wish to learn that more than 70 people have succumbed to the cholera epidemic and over 3,000 cases of this disease have been recorded, according to the Ministry of Health. Health professionals and other opinion leaders have described this cholera outbreak in Zambia as the worst in recent years but amazing responses to combat the epidemic have given birth to cleaning practices in homesteads and institutions which have never been seen in many years. The military has successfully led individual and corporate citizens to clean out cholera, which the World Health Organization defines as “An Acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium vibrio cholerae.” WCFCB is one of those corporate bodies that have joined hands with other sections of society to keep the work environment clean through the “Keep Zambia Clean Campaign”. As indicated above, every last Friday of the month, employees work half day in order to clean the buildings and surroundings at head office and in all the 20 branch offices across the country to address environmental concerns on cleanliness especially in light of disease outbreaks.A host of global studies, including reports by the World Health Organisation, have identified linkages between climate change and infectious diseases, such as cholera. Furthermore, several findings show that the rising adverse effects of climate change ‘indirectly’ increase the rate at which cholera is transmitted.A recent study of cholera in Bangladesh by Amit Saha and other cholera experts, in 2017, showed that the cause agent of cholera, the bacterium vibrio cholerae, proliferate, transmits and contaminates both food and water rapidly, under conditions of high temperature which we have been experiencing lately.The cause of this outbreak in Zambia has been reduced to human activity such as poor waste management systems and the lack of proper sanitation infrastructure.The fight against cholera needs the participation of every citizen for Zambia to win the battle against this deadly disease and in responding to this call, the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board has joined in the fight! Readers may wish to learn that the Board receives hundreds of clients a day from different parts of Ndola as well as from different parts of the country including Lusaka which was the epicentre of the disease and is aware that any one of those clients could be a potential carrier of the bacteria as they come into contact with members of the board and other clients.To support efforts by the Ministry of Health and other actors to tackle the outbreak of cholera and prevent its spread, the board has installed sanitiser dispensers outside the entrance of the building in order to make sure that every person that visits the WCFCB, sanitises their hands before entering the building and as they visit various offices.This not only protects the people within the board and those coming into the building, but it also helps keep the clients conscious and cautious of the need to keep the disease at bay by keeping themselves and their environments clean. So, as the people go back to their various homes, the idea of washing their hands before touching food as well as after using the toilet will be instilled in their minds! Furthermore, as a way of giving back to the community, the board decided to take a leading role in sustaining the “Keep Zambia Clean Campaign” by engaging every member of the board in various cleaning activities outside the Board and other branches all over the country on the first Friday of every month. Let’s work together to prevent the spread of this disease! Let us all participate in this campaign and together we will win!
The author is head – communications and Customer Services at Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board: Email firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 09212621283