By Style Reporter
Vulnerable groups in Manicaland province got a major boost in mitigating the spread of Covid-19 after the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) through its partnership with Coca-
Cola Foundation last week donated personal protective equipment (PPE).
The donations, which were handed over to Zororai Old People’s Home, Chengetai Orphanage, Rukariro Rehabilitation Centre and Nzewe for the Deaf Centre, included hand-washing buckets, hand sanitisers, liquid soap and gloves, among others.
Lately, Zimbabwe has been experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases.
“With funding from our partner the Coca-Cola Foundation, we have reached out to 35 old people’s homes around the country reaching approximately 1 293 old persons in these institutions,” said ZRCS communications manager Stambuli Kim.
Kim said older people face significant risk of developing severe illness if they contract Covid-19 due to physiological changes that come with ageing and potential underlying health conditions.
“ZRCS has been working with the government and partners in mitigating the spread of the novel virus by reaching out to the most vulnerable groups, including older people to recover from the effects of the pandemic.”
The donation is part of the US$100 000 package unveiled by the Coca-Cola Foundation to ZRCS in April.
One of the beneficiaries, Zororai Old People’s Home in Mutare, has 15 inmates with the oldest being 99 years old.
Like many old people’s homes in the country, the centre, which was established in 1962, relies on handouts from well-wishers.
“We survive on handouts from well-wishers and at the moment everyone has been affected by Covid-19 and this donation from Red Cross is timely,” said the home’s administrator Gondai Gondo.
“Economically, we used to run some income-generating activities like poultry and green marketing, but due to the lockdown, our market was severely affected, including Mutare Teachers College and Holiday Inn, among others.”
Gondo said the donation was timely as the centre had run out of basic items, including soap.
“There were times when we asked the inmates to wash hands, but there was no soap. The donation was very timely,” he said.
“There was reluctance in washing hands from the elderly, but now they are used to the new norm.
“We are exploring if we can get a thermometer for screening. We are living in darkness; at least a testing kit will be ideal.”
Gondo said care givers at the centre were operating without protective clothing.