Ministry of Health and Child Care officers from eight different ports of entry and exit yesterday received training on how to use the COVID-19 Port Health surveillance equipment which was procured by Mimosa for the ministry.
The thermo scanning equipment consists of seven Flir C3 Thermal Imaging System Sets and a Flir E53 EXX Series Set.
In an interview with Great Dyke News 24 on the sidelines of the training, Ministry of Health and Child Care Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control Dr. Portia Manangazira said the equipment will ensure that adequate screening happens in all key ports of entry.
“We are very excited as a ministry after receiving our state of the art equipment from Mimosa who has been in partnership with the Ministry of Health in terms of ensuring that as a country, we are in line with the provisions of the international health regulations safeguarding global health security.
“In terms of the thermo-scanners and the cameras that have been brought on board, we will now be able to adequately equip all our eight key ports of entry that is the three airports; Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Joshua Mquabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo and the Victoria Falls International Airport in Hwange district as well as the five ground ports of entry which are Beitbridge, Plumtree, Kariba, Machipanda or Forbes and Nyamapanda.
“This equipment will ensure that adequate screening happens in all those key points of entry,” she said.
She added that the government is making sure that all ports of entry and exit into the country are on high alert.
“This training of Port Health (officers) will continue and be cascaded to the key ports of entry just so that we are sure as a country that this infection will not affect our citizens. We have always reiterated as a ministry that we do not have coronavirus in the country.
“So, we have to make sure that there is ultra-alertness at our ports of entry and exit into the country,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Child Care Environmental Health Director Victor Nyamande revealed that the thermo scanners are internationally recommended to test and measure fever.
“Then the issue of corona came in, but remember technology improves and we also realized that the thermo scanners we were using were not equal to the task at hand.
“When we appealed to Mimosa, they extended another hand by establishing a budget specific to health programmes at points of entry and they went an extra mile to say yes the machinery that you use, we don’t want to be the one selecting. Can you give us your expert advice? So we went together into the market in South Africa and identified the relevant thermo scanners.
“These ones are internationally recommended to test or measure fever. This means we have gone a step ahead to screen our arrivals according to international technology.
Mr Nyamande also said the new equipment has given Port Health technicians confidence that they will be safe from contamination while they are on duty.