In a bid to boost communication interventions in the fight against Covid-19, the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) received a shot in the arm from internet service provider, Africom who are activating connection at health centres dotted across the country.
Africom is working in partnership with Satellite Service Provider Hellas Sat proving why digital technologies are front and center in the battle against COVID-19.
The initiative is targeting 109 sites covering hospitals and clinics around the country.
Zimbabwe has so far recorded 574 cases of Covid-19.
Seven people succumbed to the virus since the first case was recorded about three months ago with 67 105 being screened.
In a statement, Africom said it is working out modalities with their Chinese partners for further supply of VOIP handsets, which enable ease of communication over the internet lines.
“This will ensure that information reaches the marginalised and also information can be collected giving the Corona Virus (Covid-19) task force a good measure of information to feed their planning and mitigation.”
Currently connections have been done in eight provinces.
The provinces are Manicaland with eight health centres, Matebeland North (10), Matebeleland South (3), Masvingo (10), Midlands (12) And Mashonaland Central (15).
Mashonaland East and West provinces have 10 and eight health centres respectively under coverage.
Covid- 19 has sent countries around the world under various degrees of lockdown while the World Health Organisation has provided guidelines insider to combat the spread of the disease.
Among the guidelines include the mandatory wearing of masks in public spaces, maintaining social distance as well as use of hand sanitizers as a way to curb spreading of the highly infectious disease.
Passing on of information across the board has thus remained critical in the fight against this novel pandemic.
Africom said the connectivity revival will benefit all the provinces’ health facilities as the nation fight the spread of the virus.
“The need for communication at this critical time of Coronavirus (Covid-19) will assist in the monitoring and tracking with the urgency and need to relay information back to command office.”
In 2016, Africom rolled out infrastructure to 127 sites belonging to the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
The project which was funded by United National Development Programme was stalled after a challenge of acquiring foreign currency required for rentals.
This left the sites lying idle.
“The company is still working modalities with their Chinese partners for further supply of VOIP handsets which can enable ease of communication over the internet lines.”