Nqobile Tshili Bulawayo Bureau
First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa has urged Bulawayo City Council to revive its home-based care programme which played a critical role in the provision of primary healthcare to residents, particularly senior citizens.
In a speech read on her behalf by Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Judith Ncube during a meeting with the elderly in Old Pumula yesterday, the First Lady said it was critical for communities to take care of their elderly.
“As an ambassador to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, I challenge the health sector to come up with programmes that help the elderly. Bulawayo had programmes such as the home-based care. There was no one who would fall sick at home without home-based care workers paying them a visit.
“All those programmes were very good for the community. I want to challenge the local authority to revive such programmes which relieved pressure from individuals directly affected by the illnesses,” she said.
Amai Mnangagwa said Angel of Hope Foundation was an apolitical organisation meant to uplift the poor.
“We might have political differences, but that should not take away our humanity, ubuntu bethu.
“Political differences do not mean you cease to be my sister, brother or father. We don’t have to fight each other,” she said.
Amai Mnangagwa said through their experiences, the elderly play an important role in guiding society.
She said the nation should accept that no foreigner will solve the country’s problems and it is up to the country’s citizens to uplift each other.
Minister Ncube did not only read the First Lady’s speech, but went on to clean several houses in Old Pumula owned by the elderly, most of whom live alone which is what the First Lady does when she visits.
She said the act was just a reminder to communities not to forget the elderly.
Minister Ncube later distributed food hampers donated by the First Lady’s Angel of Hope Foundation to the elderly and people living with disabilities.
Expecting mothers who attended the event, were given baby preparation hampers.
A senior citizen Mrs Margaret Moyo (68) expressed gratitude to the First Lady for bringing cheer to them.
“We have heard about the First Lady’s work when she visits the elderly. We were also waiting for her to visit us here in Bulawayo. Unfortunately, she could not be with us today as we were told she had other commitments. We are grateful that she sent her love to us. She brought us goodies. We are grateful that as the elderly in Bulawayo she has not forgotten us,” said Mrs Moyo.