Health experts, businesses laud lockdown extension

Nqobile Tshili/ Oliver Kazunga, Chronicle Reporters HEALTH experts yesterday commended Government for extending the national lockdown saying it is the only way to contain the spread of Covid-19 virus in the country while keeping the citizens safe. President Mnangagwa on Sunday extended the lockdown by two weeks as part of Government’s broad response to the rising number of cases. This means that Zimbabwe will be under lockdown for five weeks from March 30 to May 3. President Mnangagwa said the country was facing a new situation in which more of…

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Essential health services should not be suspended: CWGH

Essential health services should not be suspended while the country fights the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed many lives across the globe, Community Working Group on Health (CWGH), a local civic society organisation, has said. Zimbabwe, currently under five-week lockdown to contain the spread of the pandemic has so far recorded 40 confirmed cases including four deaths and five recoveries. Since the country entered into a lockdown major hospitals have only been attending to emergencies while focusing on dealing with a possible outbreak of COVID-19. Patients…

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Govt under pressure to appoint Nac Board

HEALTH and Child Care parliamentary portfolio chairperson Ruth Labode has called on government to urgently appoint board members at the National Aids Council (Nac) which has been operating without one for over a year. The previous board was dissolved last March following concerns that it was improperly appointed and has not been replaced up to date. During a National Assembly sitting recently, Labode — who is also the MDC Matabeleland North proportional representation MP — said something was not adding up about this issue and the Health minister should address…

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Coronavirus: Acid test for Zim’s health delivery system

BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI THERE have been widespread concerns over the country’s capacity to deal with the virulent coronavirus (COVID-19), which is rapidly spreading across the world after it was first detected in the Wuhan province of China, where it has already wiped out nearly 3 000 people and affected another 78 000-plus in China and other parts of the world. Other countries, including the United States, have already rolled out mechanisms in anticipation of the spread of the disease so that it can be contained before causing extensive damage. Stakeholders…

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Govt taken to task over health workers capacitation

GOVERNMENT has been urged to devise a sustainable plan that ensures health workers have adequate tools of the trade to avoid recurrent strikes by doctors and nurses. BY VANESSA GONYE In a statement, Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) executive director Itai Rusike said government should not relax after the intervention of organisations like Higher Life Foundation (HLF) and other development partners, who bailed it from the human resource crisis that had befallen the health sector towards the end of last year. “That doctors are back at work after the…

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Govt budgets US$5m for coronavirus

– Over US$5,2 million has been earmarked for screening and monitoring suspected cases of the Novel (2019) coronavirus that has been declared a global public health emergency. Speaking at an inter-ministerial meeting on the outbreak, disaster, emergency preparedness and response, focal person Isaac Phiri said government had budgeted the money to ensure that the virus is contained. “The total of needs amounts to US$5 222 432 for screening and maintaining suspected coronavirus cases, with US$147 000 set aside for infection, prevention control through training of personnel,” he said. “But in…

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Outcry over new hospital user fees

Bulawayo residents have bemoaned the recent hike in hospital user fees which have rendered health services virtually inaccessible to the majority of Zimbabweans who are bearing the brunt of a failing economy. In a circular to hospitals dated December 31, 2019, Health and Child Care Permanent Secretary Agnes Mahomva announced the new hospital fees, directing their immediate implementation. Under the new fees, among other changes, ante-natal general ward per day will cost $160 at central hospitals such as Mpilo Central Hospital and United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), $120 at provincial hospitals…

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Public hospitals adjust charges

Government has approved an increase in public hospital charges, but no one will be turned away for failing to raise the fees, while the free maternity services policy remains in place. The upward review of medical costs from January 1 has already drawn public outcry with stakeholders saying the fees are beyond the reach of many. Consultation fees for adults receiving treatment at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals are up from $15 to $200 for initial and $130 for subsequent visits. Children above five years will now pay $100 as initial…

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Desperate Zimbos Turn To Crowd Funding For Healthcare Financing

IN a country where medical aid coverage is less than 10 percent, ordinary Zimbabweans who can’t afford medical aid cover and health insurance have found solace in crowd funding initiatives for critical surgeries and treatment for complicated ailments. By Michael Gwarisa According to the Association of Healthcare Funders Zimbabwe (AHFoZ), medical aid coverage has dropped from a high of 10 percent in 2018 to the current  9 percent, making it untenable for majority of Zimbabweans whose life savings and hard earned cash has turned into manure since August 2018 at…

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