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Coronavirus: Will Zim’s incapacitated health delivery system beat the COVID-19?

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The coronavirus has wiped 3 000 people and affected 78 000-plus in well resourced China from its first detection in the Wuhan province. There are widespread concerns of how much damage it would cause to Zimbabwe’s incapacitated health delivery system if it finds its way through.

Other countries, including the United States, have already rolled out mechanisms in anticipation of the spread of the disease so that it can be contained before causing extensive damage.

Stakeholders in Zimbabwe — which is dealing with massive incapacitation in health institutions and an ailing health delivery system — have expressed concern at the lackadaisical approach they say have been taken by the authorities.

Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals spokesperson Lenos Dhire on Thursday said they had identified some gaps in the manner in which COVID-19 was being handled in Zimbabwe and there was need to quickly close them for effective handling of the outbreak.

These included disinfecting the casualty department, expediting the provision of protective clothing for staff, improvement in communication in the rapid response team, setting up a screening test and immediately referring all infectious disease cases to Wilkins Hospital.

Such measures, he said, would help “minimise the potential mix of suspected patients with staff members and other patients”.

Such measures needed to be put in place in nearly all health institutions across the country, although this would be a taxing exercise given the economic challenges the country is currently grappling with.

Although Zimbabwe Medical Association (Zima) Mashonaland provincial chairperson Edward Chagonda this week told the Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Peace and Security that epidemiology and disease surveillance in the country was being handled “well”, another doctor, Stanford Chigumira, expressed concern over the health sector’s capacity to deal with a disease of such magnitude.

Chigumira said Zimbabwe was lucky that there had not been a single case of the coronavirus, because it would likely decimate the country.

“With this weak health infrastructure, we will be finished,” he said.

Although the government has assured the nation that it is prepared to deal with COVID-19, with the Chinese government helping to upgrade infectious diseases units at Wilkins Hospital in Harare and

Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital in Bulawayo with medical teams receiving advice and instruction from Unicef and World Health Organisation, stakeholders believe the security system needed to be tightened.

Travelling to and from China has been strongly discouraged until the epidemic is brought under control.

More than 3 000 people in Zimbabwe have been placed on self-quarantine and medical surveillance after returning to the country from the Asian giant, including 2 000 students who were studying abroad.

MDC secretary for health, Henry Madzorera, however, said it was worrisome that there was a denialist attitude on COVID-19, which he said would cost the country.

Acknowledging government efforts, the former Health minister, noted that more could still be done.

Madzorera cited how HIV and Aids was first detected in certain groups in the US population and how the US government quickly acted on it as compared to Africa, something that eventually minimised its impact in America while ravaging Africa for many years.

“COVID-19 is once again going to end up an African problem because of the denialist attitude of our governments. We need robust and preventive interventions now to avoid being the epicentre of the pandemic tomorrow,” he said.

Madzorera implored government to stop all movement of people from China to Zimbabwe, to quarantine those coming from China for three weeks because “this so-called self-quarantine at home does not work” and demonstrated government’s disregard of the lives of Zimbabweans.

This followed indications by Health minister Obadiah Moyo that the government and the Chinese embassy were using “self-quarantine” to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

“We have made sure that all those Chinese personnel who have returned to their jobs, with the support of the Chinese embassy, really self-quarantine. The Chinese embassy is being very strict because it is also in its interest to make sure that none of their nationals comes out to be coronavirus positive. As such, they are giving us as much support as possible,” he said.

Madzorera, however, was sceptical about such an approach.

“Once the virus comes into Zimbabwe, it will be extremely difficult to stop its spread,” he said, instead insisting that locals should desist from visiting China.

He said a visit to a local public hospital was disheartening due to “a pathetic lackadaisical approach to duty by health workers” and said with such lack of commitment, COVID-19 could present a disaster to the country.

“There was no single medicine to give to the patient, and everything, including suture material, was to be purchased at a private pharmacy in town by relatives.

“This gave me insight into the government’s self-proclaimed state of preparedness. If we can’t treat a simple case of assault, can we handle COVID-19?” he queried.

Moyo said the Chinese government had also seconded 12 doctors based at Parirenyatwa Hospital and three of them were involved in matters to do with the virus.

Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike said it was essential to recognise the importance of community participation in dealing with epidemics of such nature.

“We also call on governments and global organisations to recognise and facilitate community participation through relevant policy and legislation and resource community participation in health systems. The current epidemic is not only of the Chinese government and the affected countries, but requires a global response,” Rusike said recently.

“It is not simply the health system itself which is at stake from the threat of a global coronavirus outbreak, but the health of the whole nations, today and for the future.”

Rusike urged the government “to immediately commence robust education awareness campaigns and provide accurate information to its citizens about the infectious coronavirus”.

He admitted that the current state of the country’s health delivery system needed to be boosted to ensure effective containment should the disease hit the country.

“It is undeniable that the current broken health delivery system makes Zimbabwe very vulnerable should the virus spread into this country. The government should increase its funding to health, and focus the spending on disease prevention,” Rusike said. NewsDay

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ENTERTAINMENT

Makhadzi set to perform in Harare tonight

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Makhadzi perform in harare

Popular South African musician, Makhadzi, real name Ndivhudzannyi Ralivhona is set to perform in Harare for the first time.

Makhadzi’s performance comes a day after the government announced further relaxation of lockdown regulations allowing bars and nightclubs to re-open to vaccinated patrons only.

Makhadzi has been trending on social media in the past few days after pictures of her dark inner thighs were shared online.

A photographer shared the pictures after the Matorokisi hitmaker’s star performance in Malawi over the weekend.

She was forced to apoligise to her fans after trolls used the pictures to bully her.

Makhadzi’s performance in Harare can be expected to be lit as it will be one of the first shows after the easing of the lockdown.

On social media, hyped Zimbabwean fans could not hide their joy of finally having to witness the energetic performer live.

IZIM was not able to obtain the details of the venue of her show.

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NEWS

Zimbwabwe And Ghana In Double Header Swim Or Sink Battle

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The warriors World Cup 2022 campaign reaches a climax this coming weekend with back to back clashes with Ghana.

Zimbabwe is playing catch up having managed only a single point in a draw against South Africa. The warriors went on to lose 1-0 to Ethiopia leaving them with 1 from a possible 6 points.

Ghana scrapped past Ethiopia in their first game in Cape Coast last month and despite collecting three points courtesy of a 1-0 triumph, football analysts in the West African country were critical of the team’s performance nonetheless.

In their second game, the Black Stars lost 1-0 to Bafana Bafana.

Interestingly, both Ghana and Zimbabwe, with new coaches Milovan Rajevac and Norman Mapeza respectively, do battle in a sink or swim double-header header next week.

The first match is on Saturday at the Cape Coast Stadium in Ghana, before the two sides clash at the National Sports Stadium three days later.

The question of everyone’s lips, with less than a week before battle lines drawn in Cape Coast is; can Mapeza’s Warriors get the job done and revive their World Cup qualifying campaign?

Qualification for the global showpiece has eluded this football-crazy nation for 41 years and defeats in both games next week will not even pave way for the over-used and somewhat meaningless cliché “so near and yet so far.”

These are the two games which are likely to decide whether or not qualification for the World Cup won’t be, just like for the past four decades, just a pipe-dream.

Historically though, Ghana have always had an upper-hand in the fixture, which justifies the Warriors’ underdog tag.

A well-oiled Ghana machine, on its way to the FIFA World Cup in 2006 in Germany, was stopped in its tracks by Charles Mhlauri’s Warriors at the AFCON finals in Egypt, when Cephas Chimedza and Benjani scored in a 2-1 victory. Regardless of how impressive and monumental that victory was, it is the only time in history, Zimbabwe has defeated the Black Stars.

The two sides first met in an international friendly in 1996, which ended in a 1-1 stalemate, before they met again a year later, on January 26 in AFCON qualifier, which ended goalless.

They met again in July 1997, in an AFCON qualifier, which the Black Stars triumphed at home 2-1.

Ghana thumped Zimbabwe in a AFCON qualifier in October 2000, 4-1 before beating them again at the National Sports Stadium in June 2001, 2-1.

Put simply, the Warriors have beaten Ghana only once in six meetings, that famous win at the AFCON finals in 2006, which was the last meeting between the two sides.

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NEWS

Jikwa Refuses To Share Cell With Other Men

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Bujy Bikwa Boity Thula

Bujy Jikwa, accused of hitting Boity Thulo with a beer glass at a hotel in Waterfall, allegedly caused a scene at Midrand Police Station refusing to share a cell with male detainees.

The former Metro FM deejay Bujy Bikwa is charged with assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm following the attack on rapper Thulo.

The police eventually put Bujy in a single cell since they could also not let him share a cell with females.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said Bikwa appeared at the Midrand Magistrate’s Court on Friday and was denied bail.

“The case was postponed to Wednesday. The accused is in custody and was charged with assault,” Mjonondwane said.

Bujy

Bujy Jikwa. Pic supplied

Bikwa allegedly threw a bottle of alcohol at Thulo and cut her on the face during an argument at the Courtyard Hotel while they were out with friends.

  • Boity Thulo breaks silence over Bujy Bikwa assault case
  • Thulo allegedly sustained serious injuries and had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance for treatment.

    Police spokesperson Mavela Masondo said Thulo had opened a case at Midrand Police Station on the night of the incident.

    Yesterday morning, Bikwa’s phone was answered by a woman who declined to comment.

    Thulo confirmed the incident in a statement released yesterday:

    It is with deep sadness to state that I was indeed an unfortunate victim of a vicious assault and that I have since opened a case against the culprit, which I am following with keen interest. I do not wish to comment on this matter any further. I respectfully request some space as I try to find a way to heal both physically and emotionally from this traumatic experience. I have faith in our criminal justice system and implore everyone to stand firmly against gender-based violence.

    “They were busy drinking and talking about sangomas and ancestors before an argument started. I am not sure who started it, but they were screaming at each other and swearing before they started fighting,” one eyewitness said.

    Another said: “Bujy really beat that girl up badly … Boity was wearing a white shirt and her shirt was red with blood stains. Her face was also bad.”

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