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Chiwenga hails Bulawayo for best vaccination record

by Staff reporter
06 Nov 2021 at 06:21hrs | Views
VICE-PRESIDENT Dr Constantino Chiwenga yesterday hailed Bulawayo Province for the best vaccination record nationwide with over 50 percent of the population having received the first dose while over 44 percent have received the second.

Speaking at the first graduation ceremony for specialised nurses training at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo Dr Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care said experts were finalising investigations on vaccination of children between 12 to 15 years old.

He said Government has also approved vaccination of 16- and 17-year-olds with Sinovac vaccination which was supposed to commence immediately. Dr Chiwenga said this was part of efforts by Government to attain herd immunity by December.

Herd immunity is achieved when most of a population is immune to an infectious disease. This provides indirect protection to those who are not immunised.

The VP urged authorities in Bulawayo Province to ensure that 60 percent of the population was vaccinated soon. He also urged other provinces to pick up their pace.

Government is targeting to have vaccinated 10 million people by December in order to attain herd immunity. In order achieve this target Government has ensured the undisrupted supply of vaccines at various vaccination points across the country.

Some of the strategies in place include mobile outreach vaccination exercises being conducted across the country in order to reach more communities and cover remote parts of the country.

Government has also brought on board various departments, institutions and private clinics that are also conducting the vaccination exercise.

"I'm very heartly pleased with Bulawayo Province which is currently leading in vaccinating its population as it's above 50 percent for the first dose and above 44 percent for the second dose. We would want you to get to the 60 percent mark and even do better and that way everyone will be safe here," he said.

"Government has approved vaccination of 16 and 17-year-olds with Sinovac vaccine which must commence with immediate effect. We are working on the protocols for vaccination of 12 to 15 and experts are finalising their investigations. Our aim is to ensure we attain herd immunity by December and cooperation from everyone is important."

The VP said Government will look into giving incentives to health care workers in private health institutions. He said workers at private health facilities were contributing towards developing the health sector as those at public facilities.

Mater Dei Hospital Training School introduced one year diploma courses in Intensive and Coronary Care and Operating Theatre Nursing in 2018. A total of 24 nurses graduated yesterday.

Students were drawn from various health institutions in the country.

Dr Chiwenga said Government took a stance to adopt private public partnerships under which Mater Dei Hospital was called to partner it through technology transfer as part of efforts to attain Vision 2030. He said such partnerships will contribute to the wellness and health of the public at stated in National Development Strategy 1.

"The training of these specialised nurses came at a right time when the country is losing specialist nurses to other countries.

This will complete Government efforts in increasing the annual nurse specialist output and addressing the critical shortages in the health care," the VP said.

He said Government remains committed to looking into the conditions of service of health workers to ensure they are as competitive as those in other nations in particular accommodation, transport, cafeterias at workplaces, tools of trade and salaries.

The VP implored the graduands to continue serving diligently at health institutions that they are practising in.

"Remember you are a critical link to the achievement of universal health coverage and you have an obligation to equally contribute to this good cause. This isn't an end but a beginning of your professional development. I implore you to continue applying additional competencies, taking advantage of local training institutions such as Mater Dei

Hospital training school. The specialists in Zimbabwe are known to be the best and I urge you to maintain the standards," he said.

Also speaking during the event, Mater Dei Hospital chairman of the board of management, Mr Adolf Macheka said private health institutions were also losing specialised and general nurses to the diaspora due to remuneration constraints.

He said private health facilities did not have resources to offer workers non-financial incentives like housing schemes, car loans and tax-free night duty allowances. He appealed to Government to assist private health institutions in incentivising their staff.

Meanwhile, the Vice President yesterday visited the late Dr Muriel Selma Fallala's family, to console them.

Dr Fallala (69), died on Wednesday, after her vehicle overturned as she drove to the city centre from her home in Ilanda suburb, rushing to Galen House to attend to a patient. She lost control of her Mitsubishi SUV while driving along 12th Avenue extension and the vehicle veered off the road, overturned and hit a precast wall at Old Miltonians Sports Club.

The Vice President, who was accompanied by National University of Science and Technology (Nust) Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Yogeshkumar Naik commended Dr Fallala for her patriotism and not leaving country for greener pastures, as she served for nearly 40 years during a time when Zimbabwe is suffering from brain drain, especially in the health sector.

Mr Themba Kutadzaushe, the family spokesperson said Dr Fallala's burial will most likely be next Wednesday.

"At the moment we are working on the funeral arrangements as we are waiting for the daughter who is overseas. We are looking at Wednesday being the day that we shall bury her," he said.

Professor Naik said Dr Fallala will be sadly missed by the Nust community as well as the entire health sector.

"She was one of the few qualified family medicine doctors. She passed away at a time when she had just introduced post graduate programmes on family medicine," he said.

Source - chronicle
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