BCC takes Covid-19 jabs to squatter camps
Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Senior Health Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has embarked on a Covid-19 vaccination drive in areas with low vaccination rates such as squatter camps to help the province achieve herd immunity.
Council said the programme, which is in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, will run up to Saturday targeting “hard-to-reach areas” to fight the virus that has killed more than 5 600 Zimbabweans since the outbreak of the virus in 2020.
Statistics from the Ministry show that as of Monday, Zimbabwe had recorded 263 189 Covid-19 cases including 256 314 recoveries and 5 659 deaths.
So far, 6 608 607 people have received the first dose of the vaccine, 4 966 725 their second while a total of 1 312 817 have received their third dose.
The national recovery rate remains at 97 percent.
In Bulawayo, a total of 22 749 Covid-19 cases have been recorded since the outbreak of the pandemic including 21 758 recoveries and 920 deaths.
In terms of vaccine coverage, 65 percent of the targeted 569 010 eligible Bulawayo residents have received the first dose, 56 percent have received the second while only 14,5 percent have received the third dose.
In a statement, council said the campaign will target eligible populations due for dose 1, 2, and 3 in an effort to achieve herd immunity.
Bulawayo provincial medical director Dr Maphios Siamuchembu urged residents to get vaccinated to prevent severe Covid-19 since new cases are being recorded daily.
“We have 12 mobile teams supported by CordAid to go into schools, busy places and hard-to-reach areas to try and reach anyone aged 12 and above with a missing dose. This is in addition to all our Bulawayo city clinics, central hospitals, Ekusileni Hospital and some private institutions that are vaccinating. We are committed to ensuring anyone who is eligible and wants to get the vaccine has access. It is now up to the population to get the vaccines,” said Dr Siamuchembu.
He also reminded residents that science has proven beyond doubt the benefit of vaccination in terms of reduced disease severity, reduced need for hospitalisation and reduced mortality.
Meanwhile, results from a Zimbabwe Statistical Agency High-Frequency Telephone Survey of Households show that only 30 percent of unvaccinated residents had an interest in getting inoculated against Covid-19.
“At the national level, the proportion of households who were very worried about the possibility that an immediate family member might become seriously ill or contract Covid-19 dropped from 55 percent to 38 percent during the recent survey.
This decrease was equally apparent in rural and urban areas,” read the report.
“The survey revealed that 38 percent of the rural households compared to 58 percent in the last survey were very worried about the possibility that an immediate family member might become of Covid-19. Likewise, 30 percent of urban households were very worried about the possibility that an immediate family member might become seriously ill from contracting Covid-19 compared to 48 percent in the last round.” –@thamamoe