By Stephen Tsamba
THE National Social Security Authority (NSSA) opened a Covid-19 isolation centre in Harare Friday as fears of a third wave and the spread of the deadly Indian variant grow.
The isolation centre is located in the Avenues area of Harare and will also serve as a clinic for NSSA employees and pensioners registered under the authority’s scheme.
NSSA general manager Arthur Manase said Covid-19 remained a threat amid fears of a third wave and the deadly strain emanating from India.
“Covid-19 is still very much out there and we need to remain vigilant. There is now talk of a third wave with a deadly strain emanating from India. That is why we have now upped our act by setting up this facility,” said Manase.
Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima, who was the guest-of-honour at the event, said during all-stakeholder engagement meetings regularly held, access to improved healthcare services always featured prominently, and NSSA had responded to the need by providing medical assistance to all eligible pensioners.
“In the stakeholder engagement meetings we have held so far, access to health care services has consistently featured prominently among the uppermost needs of NSSA pensioners,” said Mavima.
“In response to this compelling need, NSSA has been utilising its mobile clinic to provide free medical assistance to pensioners in regions across the country.”
He said the health facility will have a clinic on the first floor and the other two floors will be for rental accommodation, adding the opening of the medical centre was a milestone in terms of pensioner and employee wellness.
“The building will have a clinic on the first floor and the other two floors will be for rental accommodation. We are gathered to witness a milestone in terms of pensioner and employed wellness.
“In Zimbabwe, our government’s economic blueprint prioritises social protection for vulnerable members of society who include the aged, orphans and widows. The aspect of social welfare falls under my ministry, and the issue of sensitivity to pensioners and the vulnerable in our society is at the core of our responsibility.”
Currently, the facility can admit five patients at a time for isolation purposes.
However, according to Manase, NSSA has space and the capacity to expand should the demand warrant that.