The prevalence of COVID-19 pandemic continues to hinder the freedom of movement and association that the communities had prior to the pandemic. Public health institutions in Zimbabwe are largely dependent on international donors and local community organisations for them to be able to control the spread of Covid-19.
With the outbreak of the fourth wave and the Omicron variant coming from neighbouring South Africa, Bubi district hospital continues to serve the most vulnerable as best it can. It has been supporting marginalised communities some of whom have had to camp in hospital premises for maternity services.
The masks and detergents donated from this fundraiser have been the pillar of support for the hospital. Unfortunately the hospital has had to discharge some patients and reduce admissions in order to protect its’ health staff. Frontline workers in Bubi very much appreciate the help received to date and said they felt safe to assist the patients they can see thanks to Personal Protective Equipment donated.
This project has now protected around 3,000 people, a huge portion of whom are pregnant women. The materials provided have been used in the maternity wards and around the hospital, to save old lives and new.
Partnered with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to fight the spread in one of the most remote areas of the province, we’ve been working with Bubi hospital to provide Covid-19 assistance. In spite of the area’s remoteness Covid has still found a way in, some of this due to those returning from South Africa and Botswana and needing to attend the Quarantine & Isolation Centre. With the Delta Variant now prevalent and Zimbabwe back into partial lockdown we know the fight is far from won.
Sadly, now the district is failing to raise awareness on the importance of the Covid-19 vaccine. Many people are scared of it due to numerous myths leading to a low uptake of available vaccines in the country. We are working on fundraising for resources that will help to equip Child Protection Committees with vaccine knowledge to help inform communities.
Bubi Hospital staff have sent their appreciation for the PPE and sanitation materials provided which went a long way in assisting to bridge the gap and reduce the vulnerability status of the hospitals and Child Protection Committees that serve the rural populace.
This period saw another delivery of Personal Protective Equipment and sanitation products distributed to Bubi Hospital and the nearby Child Protection Committee (CPC). The CPC works in the local area and have been supporting the prevention and management of cases as well as responding to some of the secondary effects of covid such as school drop-outs, child marriages and teenage pregnancies. By working with the CPC, the hospital was better able to bridge the gap between them and the community to safeguard people and reduce demand on the hospital’s services.
The resources provided (thanks to the generous support of our donors) included;
150 litres of liquid soap
100 litres of disinfectants
20 litres of hand sanitisers
37 boxes of surgical face masks
82 re-usable facemasks
The hospital has given thanks and they, along with other community actors have requested that covid support be broadened wherever possible including in schools in Bubi and Umguza District. The Provincial Minister of State and Devolution has encouraged us to widen the donation sphere to include rural health centers in Bubi and Umguza District.
We’d like to take the opportunity to thank all our donors for your wonderful, life-saving response in these unprecedented times and we hope that all are safe and well.
Bubi district hospital continues to care for a number of Covid-19 patients and co-ordinate with local quarantine centres set up to limit the spread of the disease. Staff at the hospital report that they are extremely glad for the equipment provided in order to protect themselves and patients. Sanitisation practices are important in any hospital environment but at this time the strain to get it right and the increase in demand make for a challenging situation.
Unfortunately, due to the proximity to the South African border and the changed movement patterns of people caused by the pandemic, Bulawayo has overtaken Harare as the country’s epicentre. This is demonstrated by Bulawayo currently having 559 active cases compared to Harare’s 210. Bubi being in the vicinity of Bulawayo, the hopes are that cases do not take a significant rise.
A recent stakeholder meeting acknowledged the value of the equipment provided so far and thanked donors and coordinating parties. We’d like to add our thanks to this.
Following the request for help from Trinity Project we were honoured to work with them and be able to provide some funds to help Bubi Hospital prepare for the deepening crisis. This included all the items seen in the photo allowing for improved protections from contamination between patients and staff and more sanitary conditions all round.
At this point Bubi has had 11 known cases of Coronavirus. With the support of the great staff there (and some of their new resources) these patients have all recovered and been discharged. Testing is going up with 26 results currently pending. One staff member who had an underlying health condition has sadly passed away with coronavirus.
The challenges currently being faced include inadequate PPE such as detergent, masks, buckets, sanitisers and there is a need for fuel in order to facilitate contact tracing. There are also significant issues in sourcing food to sustain coronavirus patients.
The lead doctor writes “our situation is dire and we would appreciate any form of support.”
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