Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa and his Cabinet ministers were yesterday vaccinated against cholera in a move tailored to ensure the nation accepts vaccination as a way of preventing the spread of the water-borne disease. The vaccinations were administered by Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo, epidemiology and disease control director in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Portia Manangazira and other senior health officials.
The President was the first to be vaccinated, followed by Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda.
Other ministers who were also vaccinated included Perrance Shiri (Lands, Agriculture, Water and Climate), Mthuli Ncube (Finance and Economic Development), Joram Gumbo (Energy and Power Development), Monica Mutsvangwa (Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services), Owen Ncube (State Security), Winston Chitando (Mines and Mining Development), Joel Biggie Matiza (Transport and Infrastructural Development), Mangaliso Ndlovu (Industry and Commerce), Sithembiso Nyoni (Women and Youth Affairs), Sekai Nzenza (Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare), Cain Mathema (Home Affairs), Kazembe Kazembe (ICT) and Amon Murwira (Higher and Tertiary Education). Attorney-General Prince Machaya was also vaccinated.
Speaking after being vaccinated, the President said it was important that the leadership leads by example.
“My Cabinet is composed of listening ministers and servant ministers and they hear the voice of advice from our Minister of Health that it is necessary that our people get this dose as prevention to cholera. This is the first round, there is a second round. We as Cabinet have said let us lead by example. When we go out and say we are listening leaders, we are servant leaders, we must demonstrate that by actually participating in the exercise now unfolding among our people.”
Principal nursing officer Philomena Chitando said the first vaccination was short-term and the second vaccination would be administered after six months.
“The second dose would be administered within six months. Besides the vaccination, there are other ways of preventing the spread of cholera that include washing hands with clean running water, eating food while it is still hot and drinking clean water.”
She said the second dose was important for the vaccine to last between three-five years.
Government is targeting to vaccinate 1,4 million people in cholera hotspots mainly in Harare, Epworth and Chitungwiza.