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COVID-19 still alive in Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
24 Oct 2023 at 06:05hrs | Views
Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) no longer categorizing COVID-19 as a global emergency, the virus still poses a threat to Zimbabwean communities, according to the government. While acknowledging the rise in COVID-19 cases, Public Health Advisor to the President and Cabinet, Agnes Mahomva, stressed that there's no need to panic. She referred to the WHO's declaration that COVID-19 is no longer considered a disease of international concern, and that it's now treated like any other disease, with guidance based on prevention and treatment protocols.

The WHO initially declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020. However, in May of the same year, it declared that COVID-19 had become an ongoing health issue and was no longer considered a public health emergency of international concern.

During a press briefing on the Catalysing COVID-19 Action project, Health and Child Care director for epidemiology and disease control, Rudo Chikodzore, highlighted critical challenges related to accessing and utilizing screening, testing, and effective therapeutics for COVID-19 in low and middle-income countries, including Zimbabwe. The Catalysing COVID-19 Action project, supported by UNITAID and FIND, is aimed at addressing these challenges in several countries, including Zimbabwe.

Key obstacles include a lack of evidence regarding the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of diagnostic tools and treatments in low and middle-income countries, limited implementation of integrated COVID-19 delivery models in healthcare services, inadequate healthcare system capacity, weak procurement systems, and a lack of accelerated regulatory pathways for COVID-19 tools to reach low and middle-income countries.

In Zimbabwe, the project is being carried out at various hospitals and clinics, including Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital, Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital, and three polyclinics – Budiriro, Mabvuku, and Kuwadzana.

Source - newsday