Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
THE National Aids Council (NAC) yesterday donated personal protective equipment (PPEs) worth $1 million to Bulawayo health workers.
The equipment includes N95 masks, disposable medical overalls and latex examination gloves.
NAC handed the donation to Bulawayo City Council (BCC) which coordinates the city’s Covid-19 response and the consignment is expected to spread across the city’s health facilities in the wake of a spike in the virus.
Bulawayo has the highest number of Covid-19 cases after Harare and some health workers at Mpilo Central Hospital, United Bulawayo Hospitals and council clinics have contracted Covid-19.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube and the city Mayor Solomon Mguni yesterday received the donation at the Large City Hall where World Vision extended material worth nearly US$150 000 towards improving access to water, sanitation and fighting Covid-19.
World Vision will be installing water kiosks to improve access to water in Luveve, Mpopoma, Iminyela and Old Pumula suburbs as well as 12 schools and healthcare facilities.
NAC Bulawayo provincial manager Mrs Sinatra Nyathi said the $1 million was raised after observing the risks faced by frontline workers.
“This is to protect frontline workers from contracting Covid-19 as they implement their day to day duties. We realised that without PPEs we will continue spreading Covid-19 in our city,” said Mrs Nyathi.
“We are saying while we are still concerned about the spread of Covid-19 we need to remember that HIV is still there and it still doesn’t have cure. So, I hope that the PPEs will go a long way in protecting frontline workers from contracting the virus.”
World Vision integrated programmes director Mr Khumbulani Ndlovu said his organisation will continue to partner Bulawayo in addressing water and sanitation issues. He said they will be installing water kiosks in suburbs that are worst affected by the water crisis in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are going to install 5 000 litre tanks at 12 institutions to enhance water availability, we know apart from averting diarrhoea water provision is essential within our Covid-19 response to ensure cleanliness. We will also be installing 10 000 litre tanks at five sites and ensure delivery of 110 000 litres of water per week through bowsers,” said Mr Ndlovu.
He said World Vision was also distributing 900 menstrual hygiene management kits to vulnerable households and disinfection materials.
Speaking during the ceremony, Minister Ncube said all hands should be on deck in the Covid-19 war.
She said Government has taken measures to prevent the spread of the virus in communities but citizens also need to play their part.
“The PPEs we are handing over today are $1 million and comprise of the following; 1 000 N95 masks, 600 disposable medical overalls, 30 boxes of latex examination gloves. These PPEs are meant to protect our health workers as they deliver services to the public. The country has recorded a surge in new cases and this calls for additional measures to protect health workers,” she said.
The Minister said people living with HIV were also at high risk of contracting Covid-19 due to their already compromised immune system.
Cllr Mguni said Covid-19 was spreading exponentially in the city hence residents should adhere to prevention measures.
“We would also like to appreciate NAC who are involved in other projects that are helping the city cope with the pandemic. Bulawayo as at 30 July 2020 (Thursday) has a cumulative of 786 positive cases of covid-19 and from that number 737 are confirmed local transmissions with 275 recoveries, 17 deaths and 360 active cases. We also appeal to our stakeholders to come forward and assist the city during this difficult time,” said Cllr Mguni.
He said the World Vision donation is part of the Bulawayo water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) [email protected]