By Staff Reporter
THE global COVID-19 pandemic which began in the later part of 2019 in China, left a huge trail of devastation as it swept across the globe. Nothing was spared; the global economy was brought to its knees as virtually all industries were shut down. Healthcare workers risked their lives as they battled to save dying patients on the wards and in Intensive Care Units with little or no protection. As a result, many lost their lives during the pandemic and those that survived suffered a lot of psychological trauma. It is with this in mind that ZiMNA-UK held a remembrance and commemoration day in honour of those heroes that lost their lives because of exposure to the virus while discharging their duties.
ZiMNA-UK is a charitable organisation that was formed to support nurses and midwives from Zimbabwe working in the UK. The chairperson for ZiMNA is Jesca Gudza; the outgoing vice-chairperson is Lucia Vambe and the new vice chairperson is Jabu Chikore.
The event was held at Sketchley Grange Hotel in Hinckley, Leicestershire, on the 28th of May 2022. Ministers of the word, Pastor Zendera and Evangelist Mutema, led the commemoration by providing the word of encouragement. Nurses shared their experiences during the pandemic. They made huge sacrifices by looking after patients with little or no protection, especially when the pandemic started. Many have been affected mentally and required admission into psychiatric units.
Jesca Gudza, the chairperson of the association, explained how ZiMNA was formed, the vision of the organisation and its successes. ZiMNA wishes to celebrate every year the nurses that lost their lives due to COVID-19. Besides providing an advocacy for nurses in the UK, ZiMNA remains focused on the delivery of healthcare in Zimbabwe. ZiMNA has managed to source beds and equipment for Ngomahuru hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. They are appealing for £25, 000 to ship the equipment to Zimbabwe. Those that can help can get in touch with ZiMNA through their email address, firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of the event, the leadership of ZiMNA led the attendees in the release of balloons in remembrance of the heroes that lost their lives during the COVID-19.
Diaspora Insurance was one of the main sponsors of the event. Diaspora Insurance, being a key pillar of the African diaspora community, has been sponsoring events organised by the various African diaspora communities in remembrance of those that died during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their key product, the Diaspora Funeral Cash Plan (DFCP), made a huge impact on the African diaspora community during the pandemic. Families that lost their loved ones during the pandemic immediately got financial intervention to meet end of life expenses. Since borders were shut down during the lockdown, this meant that no body repatriation was happening. Policies that only provide body repatriation were rendered useless, but with a cash cover like DFCP, families were given options of laying their loved ones to rest in the diaspora. The cash also helped families to cover unanticipated expenses like isolation in hotels upon their return from Africa.
The pandemic seems to have gone but its long-term effects will be with us for a long time. Those that were affected will continue to need our support.