NGOs to partner Govt in Covid-19 fight

Source: NGOs to partner Govt in Covid-19 fight | The Herald

NGOs to partner Govt in Covid-19 fight
Mr Fungai Mbetsa

Herald Reporters

PLANS to set up a quarantine facility at Sango Border Post in Masvingo Province have gathered momentum, with two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) expressing interest in partnering the Government.

Unicef and Action Faim want to help the Government set up the quarantine facility at the border post which will cater for dozens of people.

The Covid-19 provincial taskforce toured the border post in April and highlighted the urgent need for a quarantine facility.

Masvingo provincial development coordinator Mr Fungai Mbetsa said Government had budgeted for the Sango quarantine facility before Unicef and Action Faim came in.

“Unicef has since gone on the ground to assess how best the quarantine facility will be set up at the border post and we expect feedback from Action Faim soon,” said Mr Mbetsa.

“We had set a budget for the quarantine facility because it is very urgent that it be opened considering the human traffic that passes through the border post daily.”

Mr Mbetsa said the existing small clinic at the border post was too small.

“We do not know whether they will open a permanent facility or a temporary one, but the two organisations have promised us that something will be done very soon,” he said.

“There is a very small clinic at Sango, which is operating, but it cannot handle many people, so we are going to make sure that a bigger facility is opened without any further delay. We are happy that our partners have come forward to help.”

When the Covid-19 taskforce visited Sango, they considered the idea of building the quarantine facility at Gonakudzingwa Restriction Camp.

The camp is where a number of nationalists, including the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo, were banished to by the Rhodesian colonial government during the formative years of the nationalist struggle.

Meanwhile, Zimplats has stepped up efforts to arrest the Covid-19 scourge after conducting awareness campaigns in Chegutu, Mhondoro-Ngezi and Norton Town yesterday.

The awareness campaigns, which started in May following the introduction of lockdown by President Mnangagwa, seek to increase compliance levels in communities.

President Mnangagwa relaxed the lockdown restrictions by opening various sectors of the economy on condition people continue to put on face masks, sanitise hands, screen temperatures and maintain social distance.

Zimplats’ head of corporate affairs, Mrs Busi Chindove, said their efforts were aimed at complementing Government efforts to fight the Covid-19 scourge.

“The Covid-19 blitz held in May was very useful in reaching various community members. Considering the recent surge in local transmissions along with complacency driven by ‘Covid-19 fatigue’, Zimplats conducted the awareness blitz in Chegutu and Norton communities aimed at improving compliance,” said Mrs Chindove.

Various players including the Ministry of Health and Child Care and local councils were part of the awareness campaigns show the synergies that exist in the fight against Covid-19.

“It is imperative for businesses to partner Government and health related institutions in a concerted effort to fight the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said, adding that their primary motive was to motivate behaviour change and curb the spread of the virus.

Zimplats has unveiled similar campaigns for its over 6 000 employees.

Acting provincial medical director, Dr Gift Masoja, lauded Zimplats for raising awareness against Covid-19, and called on other stakeholders to emulate the mining firm’s efforts.

Mines operating in Mashonaland West Province have been urged to intensify testing of both workers and visitors for Covid-19.

Face masks and pamphlets were distributed to residents.