As part of strengthening local communities to help in the fight against COVID-19, Heal Zimbabwe on 22 and 23 May 2020, donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to Makoni Rural District Council, Zaka District Council and two local clinics.
The donations come in the wake of concerns from local communities over the absence of PPEs at most public institutions that offer services to members to the public. Health workers at rural clinics and hospitals are also at a greater risk of contracting the novel virus due to lack of PPEs.Health workers have been providing essential services since the outbreak of the virus. In most cases, at clinics visited by Heal Zimbabwe, health personnel have been working with limited protective equipment, some even without facemasks or disposable gloves.
Duty bearers in the two Districts welcomed the donations as they help strengthen local institutions in the fight against COVID 19.The opportunity to donate PPEs also allowed Heal Zimbabwe to assess how communities were coping during the lockdown. In most areas visited by Heal Zimbabwe, officials from Rural District Councils were on the ground overseeing how food aid was being distributed.However,Heal Zimbabwe noted that while RDCs and other stakeholders were working round the clock to ensure that local communities collectively help in the fight against COVID 19,most health facilities remain in dire need of PPEs.
Added to this, Heal Zimbabwe also observed that Village Health Workers (VHWs) who have been on the frontline disseminating and educating communities on COVID 19,remain at a high risk of infection as they perform their primary health role due to limited PPEs.Since the outbreak of the pandemic,VHWs have helped communities to cope with a poor health infrastructure and have worked tirelessly to ensure that communities have current information on COVID 19 and other preventative measures.