By Nhau Mangirazi
CHINHOYI- Mashonaland West resident minister Mary Mliswa- Chikoka has welcomed donations by National Aids Council (NAC) that will make a difference in the fight against COVID 19.
Speaking during the handover of personal protective equipment at Chinhoyi provincial hospital on Tuesday, Mliswa–Chikoka said Covid 19 caught the world unawareness but local commitment will make strides in fight the global pandemic.
She said, “Our country has been caught in the midst of war against global pandemic in the form of COVID-19 that has claimed several hundreds of thousands globally. We need to work closely to fight this war together through personal hygiene and social distancing. Government has taken bold steps to confront this pandemic. As you are aware, personal hygiene including sanitising and wearing of face masks has been scaled up, together with closing of the borders, screening of people and establishment of isolation centres across the country.”
Noting the great danger COVID-19 poses to Zimbabwe and its potential to reverse the gains recorded in the response to HIV and overall socio-economic development, the National AIDS Council has embraced the response to this new pandemic and mainstreamed it in the scope of our work”
NAC has structures at national, provincial and district levels, which are very active in the dual response to HIV and COVID-19.
NAC chief executive officer Doctor Bernard Madzima said the organization participation is also predicated on the fears that people living with HIV could be affected more by COVID-19 given their already compromised immunity. Additionally, the coming in of the lockdown could have resulted in treatment disruptions for people on ARVs as movements were only allowed for essential services staff.
He said, “To mitigate these fears, we deployed our systems and structures to play a pivotal role in the response to COVID-19.
“Naturally, such a robust response places a heavy demand on resources to ensure that adequate commodities are in place. Our organisation, the National AIDS Council having led a successful national response to HIV has commendable experience and structures with which to confront pandemics of nature of COVID-19. In this regard, from the very onset of COVID-19, the National AIDS Council dedicated human, material and financial resources to compliment the work of our parent ministry,” said Madzima.
He later handed over PPEs worth ZWL 1, 000, 00.00 comprising of
300 face shields, 495KN masks, 135 latex gloves, and 16827 three ply surgical facemasks and sanitizers.
He revealed that all the ten provinces were allocated a similar amount to procure PPE as needed by the Provincial Medical Directorate.