By Bulawayo Correspondent
A COVID -19 awareness and resource mobilisation platform was launched Saturday at the Ekusileni Medical Centre in Bulawayo and seeks to raise US$10 million to help curb the spread of the virus.
The initiative; “I Am For Bulawayo Fighting COVID-19”, is a multi-stakeholder platform that brings together individuals, the business community, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), churches, health experts and institutions.
Its mandate is to raise awareness and mobilise towards an effective and coordinated response to the global coronavirus pandemic in the city and surrounding areas.
A member of the taskforce’s communication team, Thando Nkomo said the initiative intended to complement government, donors and humanitarian agencies’ efforts in fighting the virus as well as mitigating the adverse health, safety and socio-economic impact of the disease.
“The focus of our response is on strengthening formal partnerships with government and the Bulawayo City Council. Having multiple access points with high numbers of Zimbabweans in neighbouring countries and an international airport, Bulawayo has a higher chance of being adversely affected by this pandemic,” said Nkomo in an interview with New Zimbabwe.com.
She said Bulawayo was also exposed to the pandemic because of the high number of vulnerable people in the city.
“A significant proportion of the population is made up of vulnerable persons in the city. Bulawayo’s total population is an estimated 699 385 and translates to about 179,329 households. At least 10% are the elderly who are at high risk of COVID-19,” she said.
Nkomo said part of the money to be raised would go towards the rehabilitation of Ekusileni Hospital as well as securing equipment and goods such beds, defibrillators, ventilators, dialysis machines, PCR test kits, solar installations.