Mukudzei Chingwere in NYANGA
Nyanga has embraced the re-opening of the tourism sector and is now ready to host a variety of tourism activities without risking the import and export of the Covid-19 virus, health workers here have said.
This comes as more than 72 percent of the eligible population of the district have entered the national vaccination programme.
The huge uptake of the Covid-19 vaccines is attributed to the accelerated vaccination blitz that is now in its second phase.
With tourism so important to Nyanga, most people are ready to protect themselves and the tourists by getting their shots.
President Mnangagwa got his first shot in Victoria Falls last year as a way of encouraging locals there to take up immunisation and after his lead, there was a huge uptake of shots in the country’s premier tourist destination.
In Nyanga District, the eligible population for vaccines is 96 862 and now around 70 000 have been vaccinated though at different stages.
Some are fully vaccinated, while others still have only single shots, but more than 10 000 having now received booster shots.
“Following this vaccination blitz exercises, I think we can now safely say the district is now ready for tourism activities without risking a spike in Covid-19 infections, due to the fact that most people are now vaccinated,” said District Medical Officer for Nyanga, Dr John Muungani.
“This is a tourist destination, so there are a number of people who come here and we have been telling people that they need to be vaccinated since they interact with a lot of people.
“Remember, this virus has no cure, but it is controlled by these vaccines. If you are vaccinated it reduces transmission and if you are infected there is a better chance of fighting the virus.”
Health teams are on outreach in communities, schools, shopping centres and work places, reaching out to people with vaccines.
Facilities are being integrated during these outreaches with other ailments being catered for as well as awareness for control of various diseases.
Health promotions officer for Nyanga, Mrs Rejoice Phiri, said they were dealing with hesitancy through contacting religious and community leaders.
“We have objectors who resist these vaccines because of religious beliefs, but we are reaching out to their leaders to convince them to encourage the uptake of vaccines and this has improved the uptake of vaccines,” she said.
“Others are taking vaccines in secret. They do not want to be known, but they understand the importance of getting vaccinated and they are coming forward.”
Mrs Phiri said most people were now vaccinated in Nyanga, which was good for the district that welcomes a lot of people through tourism activities.