Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
Following a spike in Covid-19 infections, which are threatening to overwhelm health services, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has implored the nation to adhere to mitigatory measures put in place to slow the spread of the pandemic.
The country has recorded a steep rise in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks and the Government has warned that more cases will be recorded, urging total adherence to prescribed protocols to give the country a chance of turning the tide against the virus.
To date, Zimbabwe has recorded more than 23 259 cases and at least 551 deaths since the outbreak of the virus last year.
Government is attending to more than 9 292 active cases with the Ministry of Health and Child Care continuing to implore the public to adhere to measures to contain the spread of the disease.
Among the measures that have been introduced, Government is restricting the movement of people to contain the geographical spread of the virus.
The First Lady yesterday reminded the nation of the threat and negative impact of the pandemic, imploring the nation to be more vigilant.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused severe economic and social challenges in the whole world. Capacities of nations have been challenged and shortages of life saving medications, personal protective equipment and sanitation material have been triggered.”
“We are experiencing the second wave or second round of intense spread of the disease so this is the time for us to be more careful and make sure that we are observing all the preventative measures that have been put in place like masking up properly and covering both the nose and mouth,” said Amai Mnangagwa.
“Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is used in healthcare settings to create a barrier between healthcare workers and an infectious disease from the patient and vice-versa to reduce the risk of transmitting further to many others.
“PPE is not in treatment rooms or treatment centres only, but in many various activities like the general cleaning in all hazardous areas, in waste management, in having safe burials and also in communities or areas affected with the related outbreaks.”
She also urged the public to constantly wash hands with running water and soap, to sanitise and practice social distancing in line with laid down health protocols.
Health care workers have been hit by shortages of adequate PPEs as the number of patients increases.
Through her Angel of Hope Foundation, Amai Mnangagwa, who is also the country’s Health Ambassador, continued with her philanthropic work by donating 20 000 pieces of KN95 face masks, 1 000 pieces of headgear, 5 000 pieces of surgical gloves and 1 350 pieces of protective aprons.
“These PPEs are very much needed to ensure the safety and protection of health care workers and patients. Inasmuch as frontline workers are doing their jobs, they are also risking their lives and those of their families.
“This is our contribution of PPE to enable doctors and nurses to work in a safer environment to save lives and protect themselves from the pandemic,” she said.
The First Lady said the donation was made possible through her collaboration with international charity organisations and thanked all those who helped her mobilise the Covid-19 response equipment.
“This donation is a result of our successful collaboration with the Rotary Club of Stuttgart-Flughafen Messe Germany in collaboration with various other Rotary clubs, such as the RC Wildpark, and the Rotary Foundation in Stuttgart, who entrusted the equipment to Angel of Hope Foundation for doctors, nurses and health care workers at the frontline of the crisis.”
The nation was experiencing the second wave of second round of intense spread of the disease and it was time for people to be more careful and to ensure they were observing all the preventative measures put in place.
“This endowment of PPE is timely because we are actually at the critical point of the pandemic where we need to be more vigilant than before.
“The virus has taught us that just as you think you have managed to contain it, it quickly can show up and this time, it came back in a different strength that requires working together more than before.
“I would like to thank Professor, Dr Volker Wulfmeyer, past-president of the rotary club for initiating support and partnership with Angel of Hope Foundation which made this possible.
“I would like to encourage all those who can assist, please do so in order to save our nation, Zimbabwe,” said Amai Mnangagwa.
State medicines procurement entity National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm) received the donations and will distribute them to various hospitals across the country.
Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro represented by the Ministry’s Chief Director Curative Services, Dr Maxwell Hove, thanked the First Lady for the timely donation.
“We have seen health care workers getting infected especially during the second wave of the pandemic. The new variant recorded in other countries spreads faster and is more contagious. This calls for more protection of health care workers and we want to thank the First Lady for this donation,” said Dr Mangwiro through Dr Hove.
Acting chief executive for Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, Dr Christopher Pasi, thanked the First Lady for working tirelessly to improve health services.
“We want to thank the First Lady for the motherly instincts she is continuously showing by coming in to help different groups,” said Dr Pasi.
“The first wave was better than the second wave. We have experienced a significant rise in infections. This means more need for the protective equipment and this donation will go a long way in helping us work in a safe environment.”