BY Moses Charedzera
YAFM and Great Dyke TV today held their inaugural webinar under the series Beating covid-19 Infections,which was fully subscribed.
The virtual conference was attended by Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution,Senator Larry Mavhima and a stellar panel of medical doctors from the public and private sectors including Dr Fabian Mashingaidze, the Midlands Provincial Medical Director, Lancet Clinical laboratories CEO Dr Charles Muronda, Dr Innocent Gozho of Nectacare, Dr Blessing Garamumhango, Mimosa’s Manager Cluster Services, and Dr Wilson Mupariwa of the Midlands State University.
In his opening address at the conference senator Mavhima who is a covid-19 survivor, chronicled his battle with the virus and encouraged Zimbabweans to seek medical services early to ensure success of treatment.
“This is the problem that people have, they take time to visit their doctors and they waste time. As you waste time you give the virus the opportunity to do more damage. So, I urge people to listen to your friends, to your family, especially those that care for you so that you receive attention as quickly as possible and also to remain positive once you have been diagnosed as being positive,” he said.
On the issue of where people with the disease should go, Dr Mashingaidze said that there is enough capacity for covid -19 patients in medical facilities within the Midlands province.
“Most of the facilities are below 50 percent admission, some even below 25 percent admission, so there is enough space if there is need for admission,” he said.
The private sector also indicated it is complementing government through provision of medical facilities to cater for covid-19.
“As Nectacare we do have facilities in the Midlands, in Shurugwi and in Zvishavane and we provide services ranging from testing, care and management in conjunction with our partners.
“Beating covid-19 in the workplace is so important for us in that the workplace is at the core of the organisation as stakeholders come together for the purpose of organised productive interaction for the benefit in terms of profit, in terms of sustenance, in terms of protection and in terms of advancement and development of society. So, coordinating workplace responses becomes key.
“We are our brother’s keeper. It is important to make sure that what happens at the workplace also protects families, protects society and prevents the spread in the community at large,” said Dr Innocent Gozho, Nectacare’s Health Services Executive.
Dr Blessing Garamumhango of Mimosa said they had put in place a robust protection, prevention and wellness policy in response to covid-19.
“When we realised that we were faced with a challenge which was coming in at the start of 2020 we ran around trying to prevent (transmission) and making sure that we minimise the incidents of infection among ouremployees.
“As we moved forward getting more information on covid-19, then we recognised that there was a need to minimise the weight of covid-19 infections in those who were going to get it.
“We knew that apart from prevention and control, we needed to set up a robust case management programme and also to come up with employee wellness programmes,” he said.
The platinum producer was commended by Lancet Clinical Laboratories CEO Dr Charles Muronda for positively impacting on testing infrastructure in Zimbabwe.
“I want to acknowledge Mimosa through Dr Garamumhango. They were very instrumental in assisting us because of the economic challenges the country was facing. One of the issues was forex.
They were able to assist with equipment and through the partnerships we have developed particularly with Mimosa we were able to start our testing programme,” he said.
Dr Muronda said Lancet had risen to the challenge of providing testing services after the outbreak of covid-19 in Zimbabwe.
“When we started, it was a difficult exercise but over time, with experience and learning from what is happening in other countries, I think we are in a reasonably good state as far as providing the service.
“We started in Harare but over the following six months we decentralized our services to other towns. As of now we are testing in Mutare, Bindura, Chinhoyi, Gweru, Kwekwe, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Chiredzi,” said Dr Muronda.
ZELA Projects Officer Nobuhle Mabhikwa who was among the panel said their focus is ensuring safety for miners and their families.
“We are on a drive to encourage all miners to set up proper safety measures for their mining operations sothat they safeguard the lives of their employees and the families that the employees go back to after working,” said Mabhikwa.
Those who partnered YAFM in the hosting of the webinar include Cellmed Health, Nectacare, Lancet Clinical Laboratories, Mimosa and ZELA.
The event was broadcast live on YAFM radio station and social media platforms.