Like much of the rest of world, Zambia’s schools (including all of Bright Hope’s partner schools), churches, businesses, and many restaurants closed down almost a month ago because of the coronavirus. Even government offices only stay open for a few hours per day.
But there’s good news! While COVID-19 cases rise around the world, Zambia has managed to keep confirmed cases to only 45 so far.
For the past month, Bright Hope staff have traveled throughout the communities where we work in order to train churches about health, hygiene, and disease prevention. In Kalasa Mukosa, church leaders identified contamination points throughout their community, like metal water-pump handles, and created a plan to keep them sanitized to stop the virus from spreading. (The coronavirus can live on metal surfaces for up to five days!)
In the city of Samfya, Bright Hope partner school Samfya Bible School will remain closed until next year. All travelers leaving Samfya must pass through a health check and have their temperature taken. And hugs and handshaking are a thing of the past.
On Mbabala Island, a center for fishing, the coronavirus may spread faster and farther. Fishermen come to Mbabala Island from all around, traveling on small boats packed with 15 people, to sell and trade fish. It’s impossible to social-distance on a tiny boat! But, with health and hygiene trainings conducted by our partner churches and the local government (including wearing face masks and disinfecting boats), we hope and pray that the virus will not spread on Mbabala Island.
Thankfully, Zambia has not yet faced the overwhelming spread of the coronavirus. Please pray that our partner churches will encourage Zambians to stay vigilant and follow good health and hygiene habits in order to continue this positive trend!