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Covid-19: More Zimbabwean nurses have died in England than in Zimbabwe

25 Apr 2020 at 09:37hrs | Views
Dr Masimba Mavaza
Twenty nine Zimbabweans have died in the UK and Twenty four Of them are nurses and doctors and care workers. This number is five times more than those who died in the whole of Zimbabwe. It has been said Coronavirus does not discriminate - but some evidence has suggested it does affect some communities far more than others. Zimbabweans and all other Asian and black communities in the front line are dying.

The majority of the Zimbabweans in the UK have chosen nursing as their profession. They are the ones in the front line. Most black nurses are bullied in the hospitals some have complained of being forced to be in contact with positive patience despite the fact that they have underlying conditions Most Zimbabwean nurses have died on duty.

The government has announced a review into the disproportional impact Covid-19 has on ethnic minorities in the UK, including British Muslims and black nurses. Risking their lives'

Zimbabwean nurses have always dreamed of being big nurses. In line of duty 18 Zimbabwean nurses have died and Their families family said they had been considered fit and healthy before they contracted the virus. They never believed that they were seeing them for the last time alive.

"Any death is devastating but losing one of our own is beyond words," Zimbabwean nurses in the UK are described as professional, passionate nurses who always put their lives in front.

Every where you go Zimbabwean nurses a very, very, respected and valued members and they are absolutely valued. Now the community sits down behind the closed doors wondering who is next.

Every house in a Zimbabwean family in England has a person working as a nurse or a care worker. Care workers work with vulnerable population of the society. This puts of sixty thousand Zimbabwean in England at Risk of getting Corona virus.

"It shows the incredible bravery of every member of the NHS who goes into work knowing that these dangers are there."The Corona virus continues its grim march' but ‘every life lost makes me Zimbabwean determined than ever to push for victor

"It shows the incredible bravery of every member of the NHS who goes into work knowing that these dangers are there."The Corona virus continues its grim march' but ‘every life lost makes me Zimbabwean determined than ever to push for victory'.

The NHS's chief nursing officer Ruth May also paid tribute to the medics who have given up their lives, but added that she is concerned the fallen heroes will not be the last to die.

Ms May urged the public to shun sunny weather this spring and stay home to honour the memories of nurses who are dying.

As we write now twenty Zimbabwean nurses have died in the course of duty. Look at all the lives they have looked after and all the families they comforted when patients passed away.

Zimbabwean nurses are angels and they will wear Zimbsbwean flag above the NHS crown forever more because they earned that crown the very first day they started.

One report, from the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre, has found 30 per cent of Covid-19 victims were from Black, Asian and other minority backgrounds, whilst people from these backgrounds make up just 13 per cent of the UK's population. This is scary because you ask yourself exactly what is happening if this Corona has no discrimination why are the hospitals having different statistics which is actually accurate. Is there a sinister thing happening in the hospitals. Is this a conspiracy against the blacks. Nowhere has Covid-19 hit minority communities more than those working on the frontline of the NHS, where doctors and nurses have been trying to save their lives of their fellow colleagues. Those from ethnic minority backgrounds constitute two thirds of NHS deaths; on Friday two more doctors from BAME backgrounds lost their lives to the virus, it was announced.

ITV News has been examining the causes, we have learnt that socio-economic factors such as deprivation, underlying health conditions and cultural differences, like inter-generational households which more common in ethnic minority communities, could lead to an increase in the transmission of Covid-19. Health literacy is definitely an issue in Black and Ethnic Minorities, again, this is partly linked to socio-economic deprivation and language barriers that may exist," Dr Hina Shahid told ITV News.

"Cultural and faith factors may also change a way a person perceives health or health information. We know that there is also this mistrust in health and healthcare professionals and also accessing healthcare itself." She added: "People tend to present when they are sicker and that can make it more difficult to treat so we do have a big role to play in assembling or disseminating the correct information in ways that people can understand, in ways that take into consideration their beliefs about health and illness because that's how the message is going to resonate for them."

We need to lol at at faith and religion...which we know is an important determinate of health - we don't have this data so it makes it difficult to unpick and understand what is going on."But on the ground churches were meeting in house and unknown to them they were spreading the virus. One small church in the midlands had six people in hospital. Each day one Zimbabwean dies of Corona. Today every family knows one family which has a victim of the virus. This means almost every Zimbabwean in the Uk has a risk of catching the virus. We have many Zimbabwean men who are working as bus drivers,delivery drivers train drivers and train assistance.

These jobs exposed the man to the virus and as a result the diseases is exported in the houses. The nature of jobs Zimbabweans do in the UK is such that the interaction with the public is inevitable. This has seen so many Zimbabweans at risk. There is a great mm number of nurses in the Zimbabwean community and since they are in the frontline they the soft targets of the virus. whilst there are socio-economics differences; but cultural differences - which could lead to more disproportionate ethnic minority Covid-19 cases and deaths - have a part to play.

Within the Zimbabwean community community. Many feel the need to visit loved ones who are ill with virus symptoms, or go to a family or friend's house to pay their respects for someone who has died from Covid-19 as culturally this is what many would do.

The issue of social distancing from a Somali context is to be honest alien to us, we shake hands, we go to our houses for condolences."

"The other issue is that when you have families that are visiting each other where there are funerals, condolences, we do share this with other communities...but for us it's more alarming." How can the socio-economic factors affect ethnic minorities amid the coronavirus outbreak? The first ten doctors to died of coronavirus in the UK were from ethnic minority backgrounds. In that ten three were Zimbabweans.

The virus' impact across all minorities may be because many of them work or live in the most "at risk" scenarios which often don't allow for social-distancing at home or at work. For instance, the frontline of the NHS and care work to public transport and the "gig economy". Ethnic minorities are often over represented in high-risk key jobs where they can't afford to stay at home; including taxi, bus and delivery drivers.

Some communities may have a mistrust of healthcare systems so don't go to their GP or seek medical advice until it is late. One Zimbabwean nurse said It is a tragic loss for, you know, I lost my brother, two of my uncles were critically ill, and I had lost a cousin and a friend, a very close friend of mine. "And it has psychological impact on the whole family, it's a really difficult time and I'm sure there's others, we're all in this together and sharing the same pain but words cannot describe. We're just going to have to continue with his legacy and try to move on."

She continued: "It's very difficult, you know I still look after my dad who's critically ill and he's bed bound, it's very difficult but we try to do the best that we can."

"Even within my community I know a lot of family and friends who have lost loved ones due to coronavirus." "You get to a point where I don't want to pick up the phone, you're just constantly worried and you're frightened who's next...or who's been taken to hospital, it was already traumatising enough with my uncle and brother taken from the same house and another uncle I admitted myself," she added.

It is indeed painful each day does not pass without a death of a Zimbabwean nurse or any in the care work. The British government only praises NHS workers nothing for the care workers or any other frontline job. Our greatest prayer is that this virus ends now. If Zimbabwe Is to be ravaged like Europe surely we will not stand.

Vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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