COVID-19: A blessing in disguise for Zim health sector

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CORONAVIRUS is real and for sure. Today, the whole world is grappling with this deadly pandemic.

By Tarirai Gwapedza, Our Reader

This has seen many countries worldwide recording a huge loss of lives. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has prescribed several measures to be implemented by each and every country to try and reduce the spread of the pandemic.

The pandemic has seen large and small economies nearly coming to a halt. Every government is trying by all means to minimise or tame the spread of COVID-19.

Alas! Zimbabwe has not been spared by this pandemic. Several infections and deaths have been recorded though currently marginal.

The government is also grappling with the deadly pandemic and trying to implement the WHO-prescribed measures to curb the spread of the disease, hence the national lockdown.

Of all government sectors/departments, it is the health sector that has been seen walking tall during these trying times.

In Zimbabwe, the health sector has been the worst affected of all sectors by economic woes.
Most of the elite have been seen travelling overseas to seek medical treatment because the public health sector is in shambles.

However, with the emerging of the coronavirus, we are seeing the government of Zimbabwe sprucing all corners of the health sector to ensure the sector is breathing again.

WHO, the Jack Ma Foundation, Econet Wireless, Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe and Sakunda Holdings, to mention but a few, have come to the rescue of the health sector.

Non-governmental organisations, private sector organisations, universities, other tertiary institutions, churches and individuals come with donations and innovations to help fight COVID-19.

The most notable government effort is the revitalisation of ghost health institutions. All provinces have been seen trying to revamp the health facilities available and even creating more treatment and isolation centres.

We have seen the upgrading of Wilkins Hospital, the resuscitation of Ekusileni Medical Centre (the brainchild of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo) as a COVID-19 isolation centre, the revamping of St Annes Hospital and the Rock Foundation Medical Centre (formerly owned by jailed former Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke) to mention but a few.

We have seen the distribution of rapid results test kits to various provincial medical centres.

Several if not all health facilities in Zimbabwe have been in horrible state, thus seeing the elite seeking medical treatment abroad.

Now that all borders are closed and travel banned, frantic efforts are being made to avail medical facilities locally.

The most commendable are the healthcare workers who are working around the clock to ensure the safety of the nation.

These, being the frontliners, should be equipped with proper and adequate personal protective equipment.

If Zimbabweans continue to work with the pace and spirit which we are fighting the coronavirus, which transcends the political divide, I foresee Zimbabwe being an awakening giant.

All we need as Zimbabweans is unity of purpose, political will and good policies that can be implemented. Now the ball is in every Zimbabwean’s hand.

The spirit we have shown in fighting COVID-19 should be seen to apply to all sectors of the economy post lockdown.

Today, Zimbabwe needs the Biblical “Bezalels” as well as “Pauls” to extend the boundaries of the economy. Remember that: “United we stand, divided we fall.”

Thumbs up to all healthcare workers and the generality of Zimbabwe for continuing to adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures.