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Govt hires village health workers in place of striking nurses

by Staff reporter
26 Aug 2020 at 07:14hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has turned to village health workers (VHW) to help in detecting COVID-19 cases in communities as the strike by nurses continues.

Speaking at State House in Harare on Monday following a meeting of the interministerial taskforce on COVID-19, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the long-forgotten village healthcare workers will get training on COVID-19 detection and containment in their local communities.

"Training of village and community health workers is also underway in all districts. VHWs are vital to the country's health delivery system as they interface with communities on a day-to-day basis," Mutsvangwa said.

"In the current COVID-19 context, their role has expanded beyond engaging communities in prevention and protective measures, to include detection and responses in containing the pandemic. To this end, their current training links them with local health facility staff and rapid response teams."

Mutsvangwa said as local transmission figures continued to rise, the national taskforce noted that prevention and control capacity-building should continue across the country.

"Additionally, community awareness programmes are gathering momentum. The training of trainers is underway in all eight rural and two metropolitan provinces."

As of Monday, the country had recorded 140 new confirmed cases, bringing the cumulative total to 6 070, with the death toll still at 155.

Nurses have been on strike for almost three months now, citing lack of protective equipment and decent wages. Doctors have also joined the industrial action over the same demands.

In the early to late 1980s, VHWs were a vital cog in the country's health delivery system, playing midwifery roles.

Source - newsday

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