On October 11, Partnership for Healthy Cities Mayors Kostas Bakoyannis of Athens, Greece and Chilando Chitangala of Lusaka, Zambia discussed "Prioritizing Public Health in a Post-Pandemic World" on a Partnership panel moderated by Dan Kass, Senior Vice President for Environmental, Climate and Urban Health at Vital Strategies (See Dan Kass's 4 key takeaways from moderating the panel here).
Here are two excerpts from what the mayors had to say about key pandemic challenges and achievements in their two cities that offered lessons for the future:
Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis of Athens, Greece: “The truth is most of us were unprepared. We had to work in crisis mode. We focused on data and analyses. During COVID-19, we didn't want to leave anyone behind, including the homeless population. We were able to move forward with shelters that didn't exist before—we were able to cover these gaps.”
Mayor Chilando Chitangala of Lusaka, Zambia: “I became mayor a year ago and I was one of the frontliners to help bring awareness. Sensitization and partnership was also important. For example, partnering with the central government’s Ministry of Health and Vital Strategies was crucial. When the schools reopened we did a sensitization for the children on masks and hand sanitizer. We taught them through cartoons to engage them more. In markets, we had what we called 'talking walls' reminding people to practice social distancing and wash their hands and so on.”
Technical leads from ten Partnership cities shared the results of ongoing NCD- and injury-prevention work and discussed plans for the future.