The country’s fight against the novel coronavirus received a boost when the Econet Group handed over 400 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth $347,341 to Parirenyatwa Hospital, with United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) scheduled to receive its consignment later this week.
The donated PPEs consist of PVC overalls, overshoes, heavy-duty gloves, goggles, latex gloves and disposable plastic aprons.
The latest donation, raised from contributions by over 8 700 individual donors through an EcoCash Merchant Code and Steward Bank accounts created for the purpose, brings the total amount of donations made to date to $1,078,079. The donations are in addition to the batch of PPEs distributed to Wilkins, Masvingo, Gweru and Mutare hospitals earlier in May 2020.
As of June 29, 2020, Zimbabwe had confirmed 574 cases of people infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus, 152 recoveries and seven deaths from the disease. The pandemic has infected over 10 million people worldwide, including close to half a million deaths, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Parirenyatwa Hospital, the largest referral hospital in Zimbabwe, recently got government approval to partition one of its wings into a COVID-19 treatment facility, while UBH is also handling quarantine cases of travellers suspected of having been exposed to COVID-19.
Handing over the donation, Higherlife Foundation (HLF) CEO Dr Kennedy Mubaiwa, who was represented by HLF Regional Manager for Harare Obert Nenguke, commended healthcare workers who continue to devote their time, energy and expertise to fighting this pandemic on the frontlines.
He also commended the public for responding to the call to support the fight against the deadly virus by giving generously. He said:
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to show us that no one is safe until everyone is safe. The pandemic is impacting communities, placing a heavy burden on healthcare systems and even more strain on frontline health workers.
There is, therefore, an urgent need for us to come together in solidarity – faster and more effectively than ever before – to help ourselves by helping the nation overcome the virus.
Accepting the donation, Parirenyatwa Group Chief Executive Officer, Ernest Manyawu thanked the public which contributed the funds and Higherlife Foundation for coordinating the procurement of the PPEs, saying the donation could not have come at a better time when the government and all stakeholders, including the corporate sector, are coming together to fight the pandemic. Manyawu said:
We are grateful to witness the coming together of Zimbabweans in supporting the health sector. We would like to thank the public for responding to the invitation from the Econet Group to donate funds towards the procurement of PPEs, and Higherlife Foundation, for coordinating this worthy cause.
Higherlife has been consistent in its support of the health sector, having provided scholarships for our doctors and today they are coming in to support the front-line workers.
Most importantly, we thank our frontline staff because they are available and ready to serve. Frontline healthcare workers are a critical component of our operations and with the coming in of the PPEs, they will able to discharge their duties without fear of contracting COVID-19.
There are several other health and educational activities you are carrying out. You are investing in a better community for everyone. Together as a team, together as a nation, we can win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Higherlife Foundation said the donations platform availed by EcoCash and Steward Bank remained open to receive public support towards fighting the disease, via EcoCash merchant Code 018533 or Steward Bank Special Accounts 1037225367 or FCA Account 1037226811.