THE Community Working Group on Health (CWGH), has handed over US$50 000 worth of goods comprising of consumable and non-consumable items to the Cyclone Idai affected communities in Manicaland.
By Michael Gwarisa
A total of 100 households are set to benefit and these also include vulnerable members of society, healthcare workers and village or community health workers who were also affected by the cyclone.
Speaking at the handover event, CWGH Executive Director, Mr Itai Rusike said health workers were being side-lined in most donations despite the fact they were also directly affected by the cyclone and lost valuable items and properties.
“We are also going to support community health governance structures in the affected communities in particular the health centre committees. As you are aware, every clinic has got a community health governance structure so as CWGH, we are going to go into those communities, go into those health centres, the clinics and support with capacity building and training of the health governance structures.
“We hope that the items that you see here today will not just benefit the general community. We also expect that the community health workers and the health workers themselves to be also part of the beneficiaries. As you are aware, village health workers even in this disaster, they continue to be on the ground and unfortunately sometimes they get overlooked.
“It’s the same with health workers, we overlook them thinking that because they are employed, and they are able to meet their needs, they are not in need. Some of them lost everything, so as an organisation that works in the health sector, we feel we need to have a deliberate bias to also support the community health workers and the general health workers to benefit from these items that are here,” said Mr Rusike.
Items that have been donated include cooking oil, beans, pots, mosquito nets, solar lamps, sanitary pads, petroleum jelly, towels, kapenta (matemba), salt, sugar, washing soap, cooking sticks, Cups, toothpaste and toothbrushes, chunks and plates.
Meanwhile, the CWGH has hinted on organising a community dialogue meeting in the hardest hit areas of Manicaland with the aim of enriching the people with information and knowledge key for disaster preparedness and response.
“In addition to these relief food and non-relief items, we are also going to organise a public discussion dialogue in Manicaland. We feel it is important for us to come up with actions. These Cyclones have been happening we had Cyclone Japheth, Eline and now this Cyclone Idai.
“At this meeting, we are going to bring all the key stakeholder so that we collectively come up with actions so that in future if there is such a happening, I think its important that starting from the community level, communities should be equipped with skills and knowledge of how they can address the impact of such disasters,” said Mr Rusike.
The CWGH donation was made possible through a partnership between CWGH and Medico International where they procured material for relief aid in the affected communities. The CWGH Chimanimani Chapter will play its part in the distribution which is going to be done in partnership with the Manincalnd Provincial Administration and Civil Protection Unit (CPU) and the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) in order to give priority to the needy and curb corruption and looting in the process.