Brain Drain Hampers City Of Harare Clinics Vaccination Efforts

HARARE local authority Clinics are finding it difficult to clear long winding queues of citizens who are coming forward daily to get inoculated.

By Michael Gwarisa

In most cases, the facilities are just serving 30 or less people, telling the remaining hundreds to consider a later date for vaccination. Even though the City has published a list of centers conducting vaccinations, it appears some centers have not been living up to their promise.

A tour of the vaccination centers around the city show a grim picture characterized by long winding queues with little or no physical and social distancing at all, making the queues potential super spreader sources.

Through their official micro-blogging platform, the City of Harare confirmed that they were in a tight spot as many nursing staffers left the organization to join other organizations and this had compromised their capacity to vaccinate more people.

Vaccination ongoing at Belvedere Polyclinic. Long queues characterize the vaccination exercise. Council is short staffed. Over 240 nurses have left to join other organizations,” said the City of Harare.

However, government has since sourced more vaccine doses from China with the latest consignment being the delivery of 2 million vaccine doses from China, City council clinics are struggling to meet demand mainly due to under staffing. The country is also expecting another delivery of the Sputnik-V vaccine from Russia.

Briefing Journalists during a Post Media Briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said government would rope in the services of medical staff from the police and defence forces to augment vaccination teams from the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and local authorities

Over a fortnight ago 500 000 Sinopharm vaccines arrived with the first dose portion having been distributed and now 600 000 doses of the 2 million Sinovac doses received last week from China has already been assigned to the provinces and the rest being distributed this week to ensure a continuous supply.

“Cabinet is pleased to note that citizens across the country continue to present themselves for vaccination in large numbers. In order to minimise the time spent in queues, extra personnel from security and defence forces have been harnessed to increase the numbers of personnel at the vaccination centres,” she said.

“Furthermore, the Ministry of Health and Child Care, working with relevant Government departments, is taking measures to ensure that vaccination, rapid response and case management teams are supported with vehicles, fuel and subsistence allowances to ensure that the country achieves herd immunity.”

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