Rudo Muchedzi and Anesu Tonde
The Ministry of Health and Child Care is planning to raise US$4,7 million to boost the country’s preparedness and response to Covid-19.
Speaking at the National Preparedness Case Management workshop held at Wilkins Hospital on Monday, the ministry’s deputy director of Epidemiology and Disease Control Dr Andrew Phiri said a national budget was drafted in line with the preparedness and response plan to Covid-19.
“About US$4,7 million is needed for the Covid-19 national preparedness. This will be used for surveillance including contact tracing, rapid response team activation and training at all levels, laboratory readiness and sample collection,” he said.
Other activities covered under the response strategy are physician order entry readiness for detection of the new coronavirus, infection prevention and control and risk communication and community engagement.
More than 60 nurses and doctors from across the country attended the workshop, which was aimed at equipping them with skills on how to treat patients affected by the Covid-19 virus.
Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Dr Portia Manangazira, said partners such as the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development had come on board.
“WHO has chipped in to assist with resources for national co-ordination of meetings and the budget has also been forwarded to the Ministry of Finance, which is willing to support the programme.
“What we have also done is to draw up long-term requirements, for example refurbishment of some hospitals so that they are well-equipped to deal with infectious diseases,” she said.
Dr Manangazira said the ministry is also focusing on training health practitioners on patient management.
“In line with the preparedness towards the Covid-19 the Ministry of Health also trained health practitioners who will be on the frontline of treating patients, detecting the virus and the actual management of patients,’’ said Dr Manangazira.