Talent Gore Herald Correspondent
At least 96 doctors and nurses from all urban local authorities are undergoing training at Wilkins Hospital in Harare on how to care for patients infected with Covid-19 (the 2019 coronavirus).
Harare health director Dr Prosper Chonzi said the training was a two-day programme.
“There are 96 healthcare representatives from all over the country who are at Wilkins Hospital,” he said.
“We are training them, sensitising them around this deadly virus as the local authorities because they are the ones who are mandated to deal with infectious conditions.
“We are training doctors and nurses who will later train other members at their workplaces because we want the training to cascade to everyone, including the cleaners and security people to know how they should protect themselves.”
The training is run by the recently formed Health Services Forum, which is complementing Government efforts in ensuring that the country can tackle the virus should there be any infection in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has surveillance systems to ensure that potentially infected people arriving in the country are identified before they infect others, with special focus on the main ports of entry such as the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport and Victoria Falls International Airport.
A tour yesterday revealed how coronavirus patients will be handled by nurses from the moment they arrive at Wilkins Hospital.
The hospital is ready in terms of isolation rooms and staff are prepared to handle patients and protect themselves up to the stage of disposal of bodies if patients die from the virus.
The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo, has already submitted a budget of US$5 million for Covid-19 to Treasury.
Dr Chonzi said they were working closely with the private sector in the fight against the virus, although the test kits donated by the Chinese Embassy were for use within the public sector.