In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent ‘new normal’, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) in partnership with Zambia Medical Association (ZMA) has developed safety and prevention guidelines for training interactions and active football matches.
This program is aimed at minimizing morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19 infections contracted in competition. Zambia Medical Association as a lead health policy guide was contracted to develop a comprehensive infection prevention protocol. In the handover ceremony of the said document developed over several weeks, the Secretary General of ZMA Dr. Masiku Phiri , who was flanked by ZMA treasurer Dr. Abel Kapembwa, ZMA Chairperson for Publications, Dr. Gabriel Mpundu and ZMA Chairperson for Public Health, Dr. Naeem Dalal, emphasized the importance of this partnership between the two institutions .
“The health and safety of everyone involved in our beloved game is of paramount importance. These COVID-19 safety guidelines are tailor made for the Zambian football environment, keeping in mind all unique challenges faced at lower levels of competition and the different stakeholders at play.” Said Dr. Phiri.
“ZMA acknowledges the support and role played by the Zambian National Public Health Institute and the Ministry Of Health in formulating these guidelines.” He further added.
ZMA also greatly appreciates the input from a team of think tanks led by Dr Aggrey Mweemba, who provided technical support to the ZMA Executive.
And speaking on behalf of FAZ, the General Secretary Mr. Adrain Kashala reiterated on how this was a ground breaking partnership in terms of health and sport collaboration. “FAZ is deeply excited to convey its gratitude to ZMA for collaborating with us in piecing together this document that is meant to minimize the effects of COVID-19 infections in the football community” Mr Kashala stated.
“We are cognizant that this is the first time in Africa that a professional Medical body like ZMA has partnered with a Football Federation to formulate and administer a COVID–19 guideline tailored to grassroot soccer” he further highlighted in his concluding remarks.