THE Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) has launched a COVID-19 booth in Epworth, as part of its efforts to bridge the information gap so to limit the spread of misinformation around COVID-19.
By Michael Gwarisa
Launching the COVID-19 Booth, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister, Dr John Mangwiro said the impact of the pandemic had disrupted services and in the process disinformation had also reigned supreme.
The pandemic has seen interruption in trade, work and business, stoppage of schools and travel, diminished incomes, brought social distress, illness and death as the world continues to grapple with a disease that has no cure or vaccine yet. Among its various strategies to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government of Zimbabwe promotes the communication of correct information on the disease as this leads to the practice of best-prevention-practices against the disease.
“My Ministry therefore applauds the creation of this professionally designed health information hub for combating covid-19 in various spaces such as local communities, travel hubs, markets, learning institutions and workspaces in Zimbabwe. It is only two months ago since the Ministry approved this Project and we are pleased to find you on the ground. We find the Health Booth well configured in terms of Training of Booth Attendants, Daily Activities Protocol, Prevention and Control of infection, Data Capture and as a source of information on Covid-19 and other pertinent medical conditions,” said Dr Mangwiro.
The Booth which opened doors recently have already started receiving overwhelming traffic from the community according to Dr Minister Mangwiro.
“I also find the Booth quite appealing in its physical outlook and this is important in giving dignity to the communities it serves. With daily visitations at this Booth averaging 50 people among all age groups, the Ministry is pleased to note the positive perceptions and attitudes by the Epworth community towards the correct wearing of masks, social distancing and staying at home.
“I encourage the Epworth community to share health information obtained from the Booth with families, friends and the community at large so that no one is left as we march on against the pandemic. It is indeed Government policy to welcome the participation of the private sector in the implementation of public health programs such as the one we are witnessing here through this Booth.”
He added that the Partnership has done very well to work with the local Epworth community including the Board, nursing and environment health staff and village health workers and the community at large in the implementation of these Booths.
“To the Epworth community, you are worth our praise for welcoming and working together with the Project.Keep this up. While the Covid-19 bonfire is raging, I emphasize that vigilance is maintained regarding screening, prevention and adherence to treatment of pertinent conditions such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and cancer. We also find these Booths as ideal portals for mentoring young people to walk away from drugs of abuse, a rampant and increasing problem in our country.
“It is also very warm to note that these Health Booths are distributing information on how to set up, manage and sustain income generating projects at home. Distinguished Guests, going into the future, our country is looking into and promoting innovations to fortify the nation’s preparedness for disease outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics in the future. I am informed the Partners on this Project are looking into the implementing a collaborative Zimbabwe Epidemics Preparedness Innovations Center (ZEPIC) and my Ministry registers its encouragement of such a positive and progressive development.”
Dr Mangwiro added that through the Department of Health Promotion, the Ministry of Health & Child Care shall continue working with this Project as we strive to get above the distress and impact being caused by Covid-19 in virtually all sectors and spheres of human life in Zimbabwe.
Distinguished guests allow me to single out and thank the Muzambwa family, represented by widow Madam Naume for donating the piece of land on which this Booth is standing. Thank you indeed for your good act for your community and country.
In that regard, as we also take note of the Nyaradzo Group’s “sahwira touch” support around us, I call upon the corporate sector in Zimbabwe, individuals, local and international agencies to join hands with and support the ZimCovid-19 Health Booths Project as we work together to combat Covid-19 and improve our nation’s health in general.