ZimThrive, in collaboration with Covid-19 Zimbabwe, has donated $5900 USD to Parirenyatwa hospital to support the welfare of frontline health workers.
The rise in cases in Zimbabwe has led to an urgent call for more resources and the need to boost staff morale so that they can continue to work in Covid-19 wards.
Dr Brighton Chireka, the healthcare lead & health ambassador for ZimThrive said: “We wanted to support Zimbabwe in the fight against Covid-19 and make sure that the welfare of our frontline health workers was not forgotten. In order to fight this pandemic we need frontline staff to feel valued and supported so that they can do their job effectively and go the extra mile.”
The donation comes after an appeal was made by the Zimbabwe Association for Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) in April, who warned that without the appropriate medical resources, medics in the country’s troubled health sector would die.
ZADHR said 1,500 staff working in public hospitals required at least three masks daily.
The organisation also reported that at the end of July, 200 health workers in Zimbabwe had so far tested positive for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Professor Rashida Ferrand, director of the Zimbabwe–London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Research Partnership, based at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare, thanked the ZimThrive team for their efforts, adding that the funds would go a long way in facilitating resources and improving staff morale.
Prof Ferrand, who leads the only public facility managing severe Covid-19 cases in Zimbabwe, said Parirenyatwa Hospital, was refurbished with 300 beds and piped oxygen, but was turning away many patients because it only had enough staff to support the use of 30 beds and that more needs to be done. She added that the donation by ZimThrive will help equip the hospital with more staff.
Zimbabwe’s health sector has been crippled since last year after months of strikes over poor working conditions, with doctors claiming that patients were dying due to lack of medical supplies.
Recently more than 15 000 nurses have been on strike over wages. This came a few months after doctors ended a months-long strike when billionaire Strive Masiyiwa intervened, offering to pay salaries for more than 2,000 medical personnel for six months.
Zimbabwe has reported 7,453 cases of Covid-19 to date, but this is thought to be a large underestimate.
The team is hoping to raise a further $20,000 in the coming months as part of ongoing aid to help medical personnel combat the rise in cases.