By Moses Mugugunyeki
Mashonaland East and Midlands provinces got a major boost in their Covid-19 response in the wake of an imminent third wave after receiving personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers from the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS).
The donation was made possible by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany through the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Lately, the country’s Covid-19 infection rates have been on an increase and health experts project a third wave of the disease if the variant is allowed to hold.
As of Thursday, Zimbabwe had recorded 38 018 Covid-19 cases with 38 new infections.
Major public health centres in Mashonaland East province (Marondera Provincial Hospital, Murewa District Hospital and Chivhu District Hospital) were the recipients of the PPE which was later distributed to health centres within the districts.
Twenty-two health centres in Mashonaland East province benefited while in the Midlands, Gweru Provincial Hospital, Gokwe South District Hospital and Silobela Hospital received the donations.
The PPE included sanitisers, goggles, surgical masks, gloves, scrub suits, thermometers and gowns, among others.
Most public health institutions in the country have not adequately improved health-care workers’ access to PPE.
Receiving the items on behalf of several health centres in and outside Marondera district, Marondera Provincial Hospital superintendent Celestino Dhege said the donation had come at a time when the country was facing an imminent third wave of Covid-19.
“I would like to thank Red Cross and their partners for this great donation. This is one of the biggest donations that we have received from the organisation for our Covid-19 response programme,” Dhege said.
“This donation is coming at an opportune time when the country braces for yet another wave of Covid-19. This really will motivate the frontline workers and help in curbing Covid-19”.
Murewa district medical officer Reginald Gwisai, who received the PPE on behalf of seven health centres in the area, echoed the same sentiments saying there was no need for people to sit on their laurels.
“We need not to relax because Covid-19 is still around. Communities should abide by the health guidelines and there is a possibility of a third wave. We thank Red Cross for coming with this donation here and it will go a long way in assisting our frontline workers,” Gwisai said.
In December, ZRCS made similar donations to Mpilo Central Hospital and Tsholotsho District Hospital in Bulawayo Metropolitan and Matabeleland North provinces respectively.
ZRCS secretary-general Elias Hwenga said his organisation plays an integral role in assisting during times of disasters and had been key since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The donation is being facilitated by ZRCS as a result of funding raised through support of the German government,” Hwenga said.
“We are confident that it will help our public health institutions deliver health care services without the fear of exposing staff and their patients to Covid-19.”