A Private Sector COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, an initiative to assist Government in its mass vaccination drive, has been launched in Zimbabwe.
By Michael Gwarisa
The program will assist in halting the rapid spread of COVID-19 by achieving herd immunity through having at least 60% of the population vaccinated against COVID-19. Under Zimbabwe’s Private Sector COVID-19 Vaccination initiative, the vaccines were acquired through government and will be dispensed through Cimas clinics countrywide.
Officiating at launch of the Private Sector COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, Health and Child Care Deputy Ministry, Dr John Mangwiro said the intervention of the private sector would accelerate the national vaccination program and ensure the country attains herd immunity early.
From the onset of the pandemic the private sector, represented by the Business Member Organisations, has played an important role in complementing Government’s efforts to combat this pandemic and ensure we have well equipped facilities to offer healthcare services to citizens affected by the novel coronavirus.
“Private sector has supported the Ministry’s COVID-19 testing initiatives, promoted and implemented the preventative and treatment protocols laid down by the Ministry in line with the World Health Organisation guidelines and contributed to the equipping of both private and public health facilities to ensure they offer appropriate treatment to COVID-19 patients who require it. Indeed, the private sector has risen to the challenge and of its own volition joined in the battle to minimise the spread of COVID-19 and its effects on those infected,” said Dr Magwiro.
Cimas is the Programme Technical Partner and Health Advisor for the Private Sector Vaccination Initiative and will assist the Government of Zimbabwe in its vaccination efforts. The BMOs raised funds to help equip hospitals to provide the necessary medical care for its members and employees.
“This latest initiative to take part in the national vaccination programme by offering vaccination at Cimas facilities and at various Business Firms is a welcome move. It will help increase the pace of vaccinations and hopefully remove any doubts that those who have been delaying a decision on vaccination may have had.
“This should increase the speed with which the Government vaccination programme will be implemented. Moreover, the Private Sector COVID-19 Vaccination Programme demonstrates the faith that your organisations have in the vaccine, in the face of the myths, misconceptions and misinformation that are making some people hesitant to have the vaccination.”
Meanwhile, CIMAS Board Chairperson, Mrs Emma Fundira said, “Cimas Medical Aid supported the fight to minimise the spread of the virus through information campaigns, making use of Ministry of Health and Child Care information to come up with posters and information campaigns.
“We are indeed proud of the cooperation there has been between the private sector and Government in the joint fight against the virus as we spared no efforts. I would like to congratulate the Government on the implementation of successful measures to establish a balance between protecting lives and protecting the economy.”
She added that the development of COVID-19 vaccines offers hope that e may prove to be a means of overcoming the virus and to return to some form of normalcy.
“Worldwide there is a drive to vaccinate as many people as possible in the hope that herd immunity may be achieved and so slow down the spread of the virus. We must commend our Government for acquiring vaccines at a rapid rate and what remains is to persuade many people to be vaccinated,” said Mrs Fundira.
Organizations that came together in this initiative include The Business Member Organisations (BMOs) comprising of Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ), Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CMZ), Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ), Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT) and the Zimbabwe National Chambers of Commerce (ZNCC) joined forces and resolved to partake in supporting and assisting Government in its efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.