Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
FIRST Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has, through her Angel of Hope Foundation, provided portable bathrooms, toilets and sanitisers for the Sakudya family in Ruwa, whose four members have tested positive for coronavirus.
Five of the family members tested negative and there were fears the whole family would be infected since they were using the same ablution facilities.
Covid-19 started in Wuhan, China, and has spread to most parts of the world where it has killed thousands of people and left others hospitalised.
The pandemic has so far killed three people in Zimbabwe out of the 11 who tested positive.
The First Lady, who is the country’s Health Ambassador, said the donation was part of her efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.
“As a mother, I always want to ensure that everyone is safe,” she said.
“I learnt that the family members were using the same toilet and bathroom. The provision of the portable toilets and bathrooms will ensure those who are infected will not share the same facilities with those who are negative.
“We must always ensure that our people are safe at all times. It was all about inhibiting the spread of Covid-19 to many people in the household, the neighbourhood, community and the whole nation.
“Given that we still have this problem amongst our people not fully able to maintain the social distance, I felt it befitting to help curb the spread by providing the hygiene mobile to be at that homestead.”
The First Lady said she had a heart-to-heart phone conversation with Mrs Sakudya during which she encouraged her to seek the healing hand of God through prayer and to follow instructions given by medical personnel.
“Mothers bear the brunt whenever there is sickness in the family,” she said.
“It is difficult to handle one sick person and even tougher to handle four people. I urged her to seek strength in the Lord through prayer and never to stop practising the hygiene promoted by health personnel.
“She will turn the bend through prayer because God never turns his back on those that seek him.”
Mr Saul Sakudya, who contracted the virus while on a mission to buy electrical gadgets in Dubai in Zimbabwe, could not hide his joy and thanked the First Lady for the kind gesture.
“I heartily thank the First Lady who has taken measures to ensure that those who are positive will not infect those who are negative,” he said.
“May God bless her.”
Director in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Bernard Madzima, welcomed the move.
He said over the weekend, the First Lady was disturbed by news that the family was staying in a house with one bathroom shared by both the negative and positive members.
“She noted with concern that this really exposed those family members who are still negative,” said Dr Madzima.
“Having been touched by that plight, she engaged her partners to source for second ablution facilities which included a mobile toilet with two rooms, sinks and bathrooms which can be used for up to two months considering the number of people who are staying in that house.
“So, that toilet and sanitisers were handed over to Ruwa Local Board and their health staff for onward delivery to the family.”
Dr Madzima said the move would go a long way in protecting the family.
Those who were negative would use the mobile toilet, while the positive members would continue using the family bathroom.
“It was an initiative of Her Excellency as part of the response to the Covid-19 issue which is now a pandemic and which is also a national disaster as announced by His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe,” said Dr Madzima.
Recently, Amai Mnangagwa said as Angel of Hope Foundation, they were working hard reaching out to local and international partners so that the foundation assisted in the fight against the virus.
She has since mobilised a consignment of hand sanitisers, gloves, medical gowns and face masks from the Latter Day Saints Church which were handed over to the President.