#COVID19: Health Ministry Trains More Health Workers For Coronavirus Preparedness And Response

THE Ministry of Health and Child Care has to date trained over 320 healthcare workers in the country’s northern and southern regions in preparation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

By Kudakwashe Pembere

The latest training of trainers workshop was done in Kadoma recently seeing over 250 health workers receiving training on the COVID-19 response.

“We have trained 250 nurses, doctors, laboratorians, environmental health officers health, promotion and health information personnel from all eight provinces, three metropolitan provinces and key cities of Kadoma, Gweru, Mutare, Masvingo, Kwekwe. These will soon train and activate case management facilities within their jurisdictions,” the Health Ministry’s Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control Dr Portia Manangazira said.

In Harare were close to 80 health workers from 32 urban council local authority clinics receiving the training at Wilkins Infectious Disease Hospital about a month.

Preparing to  handle the cases suspected or confirmed , the Health Ministry has assigned and capacitated for Harare, Wilkins, Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital for Bulawayo, Masvingo Provincial Hospital for Masvingo, Gweru Provincial Hospital and Gweru Infectious Diseases Hospital for Gweru, Kadoma  General Hospital for Kadoma, Beitbridge District Hosp(IOM) facility for BB Border, Victoria Falls Hospital.

At the moment, Zimbabwe hasn’t confirmed a Coronavirus case as most are suspected cases turning out negative not meeting the COVID-19 case definition from the World  Health Organisation coordinating the COVID-19 response.

“The carrying capacity for each hospital and the capacity or beds set aside for corona cases – will get by next Tuesday from micro-plans

“The number of people tested so far at each center in those hospitals- Wilkins has 12 tested. Masvingo one who failed to meet criteria, UBH one again not meeting admission criteria,” said Dr Manangazira.

With government mooting a ban of public gatherings in the nation as a response mechanism, Dr Manangazira said schools, colleges and universities are centres that could potentially lead to mass spread of infections.

“We do not have local transmission therefore to as much extent as possible we keep these going. We will assist planning and executing of local meetings and conferences through environmental and city health. Furthermore we will continue to impart knowledge through various platforms, the medical association, ZIMA and University main campus through the national virology laboratory etc,” she said.

She said  a budget has been approved for procurement of test kits, protective equipment, medicines, training of health workers, assessments of ports of entry and isolation facilities and improvements in surveillance.

“On awareness we are in media and now have a generic set of IEC materials ready to share. Next week we train media, health promotion & public relations staff,” Dr Manangazira said.

As for the cooperation with the Chinese Embassy whose Government is seeing a decline in cases and fatalities, Dr Manangazira said Chinese doctors have been relaying latest information and updates on progress made to fight COVID-19.

“Yes we got 300 kits for Covid-19 RNA testing which can give us 1000 tests and they have been used in the 11 cases so far tested.

“Furthermore their team of doctors is working with EDC and city of Harare to train health personnel. They trained Wilkins staff and joined us this week in Kadoma,” she said.

During a Press conference on Thursday in Bulawayo, Health and Child Care permanent secretary Dr Agnes Mahomva said government was currently training experts in Kadoma on how to handle cases of coronavirus.

She said government was also revising its response strategy.

“Zimbabwe continues to be guided by World Health Organisation (WHO) in strengthening our surveillance,” Mahomva said.

“As we are speaking, we are finalising our revised response plan. At the beginning, we were putting a very rushed national response plan and now we are revising it, updating it and strengthening it based on the experiences that can be learnt here in Zimbabwe.

“With the scares that have been going around and the experiences that are coming from China, who are experts, now we are prepared to fight the disease.”



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