TRADITIONAL leaders have helped immensely in the vaccination drive by mobilising and educating their communities on its importance, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said yesterday.
Touring Sakupwanya Clinic in Mutasa District with the Manicaland Provincial Inter-Ministerial Covid-19 taskforce, Minister Mutsvangwa noticed villagers waiting patiently in line to get vaccinated at the rural clinic.
This prompted her to commend Chief Mutasa, his headmen and village heads for a job well done.
Traditional leaders across the country were playing their part and representing Government well in mobilising communities and encouraging them to get vaccinated.
“The large number of people that we saw here today who have come to get vaccinated is proof that our traditional leaders are leaving no stones unturned in the fight against the deadly pandemic,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“I am impressed that the people who are here to get vaccinated understand what needs to be done to make sure that we contain the virus. Our chiefs and their subordinates are playing their part in terms of informing and educating people about the vaccination drive and precautionary protocols quite well in Manicaland.”
Minister Mutsvangwa encouraged traditional leaders to keep on encouraging their communities to get vaccinated and keep on adhering to Covid-19 regulations, stating that though some restrictions have been relaxed, the virus is still killing people.
“Infection and death numbers have decreased significantly, but despite the small numbers, losing lives still hurts the same,” she said. “I implore on everyone to stay safe and keep observing the restrictions to save lives.”
Minister Mutsvangwa praised village health workers for working closely with the community in making sure that every villager understood that Covid-19 is still present.
She urged the rural public to follow the Covid-19 regulations just as the city folk are doing, since rural areas are no longer safe spaces as they were before.
In an interview, Sister-In-Charge at Sakupwanya Clinic, Sister Patience Chindondondo, said there had been a high turn-out of villagers for vaccination since traditional leaders intervened.
“We used to have a low turn-out, people were afraid of getting vaccinated, but ever since traditional leaders intervened we have noticed a spike in numbers of villagers getting vaccinated,” he said.
“As you can see, close to 20 people are here today for vaccination, but before Government rolled in traditional leaders, business was very low, we were getting at most two or even no one turning up for vaccination per day.”
The clinic caters for more than 3 000 villagers.
Manicaland provincial medical director Dr Simon Nyadundu said in an interview that as of yesterday, Mutasa district had overtaken Mutare Urban in the number of Covid-19 infections as a fraction of the population with 988 affected people per 100 000 people.
Mutare urban had 921 cases per 100 000 people. As of September 1, Mutasa District had administered 32 599 first doses and 21 001 second doses.