‘We are not ready for coronavirus threat”

.. local doctors not capacitated to deal with the pandemic

By News Editor
Kwekwe is under serious threat from coronavirus due to inadequate health facilities and medical practitioners who are not capacitated to deal with the pandemic in the event that it strikes the gold mining town, The Midlands Observer report.
In various interviews with medical professionals in the city it has been established that Kwekwe is not adequately prepared to deal with the scourge.
“The challenge is that we do not know how to deal with a coronavirus case once we are faced with one. As medical practitioners if we are to collect samples or specimen we do not even know where to send it to, how it will go there, the security requirements that information is just not there from Central Government,” a doctor said in an interview.
Former Health Minister Doctor Henry Madzorera said it poses a serious challenge if health practitioners indicated themselves that they were not prepared to deal with the virus.
“If health workers do not know how to deal with the virus then its a problem. We are not prepared as we are just sitting ducks.
“The government is giving an impression that that the whole country is prepared but the situation on the ground proves otherwise. In Masvingo when a suspected case was reported the practitioners had to run away because they didn’t know how to deal with the situation. There is no protective equipment. Government must be equipping medical practitioners with such equipment.”
Madzorera further added that the country did not have enough quarantine facilities.
“We dont have proper quarantine facilities. When people come from China they just mingle with people as usual. We had a student who came from China who is in my neighborhood since he is a family friend he just presented himself at my house without being quarantined,” he said.
He poked holes on government’s assertions that it is conducting coronavirus tests.
“The government must avail information on how they are conducting tests as that information is very vital. We want to know the kinds of tests being presented by Harare which takes 3 hours. The government is not being truthful.”
He added that in Africa only three countries including South Africa have been certified to be able to carry out the tests, “therefore, it will be interesting to find out how government is conducting its own tests.”
Another problem which Madzorera highlighted is the issue of shortage of manpower as the doctors are leaving the country for greener pastures.
“The major problem is human resources and medicines. The doctors we understand are still on a kind of a go slow their concerns of incapacitation have not yet been addressed. And others are leaving the country,” he said.
A visit to Kwekwe General Hospital by this publication indicated that there is no preparation when disaster strikes.
The whole city in general is generally unprepared.
The dire situation at Kwekwe General Hospital has seen the health institution failing to feed its patients-a glaring reality of unpreparedness if coronavirus is to strike.
Kwekwe City Council Acting Town Clerk Dr Lucia Mkandla last week told Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Larry Mavhima that Kwekwe does not have an infectious disease control hospital.
“We had to upgrade Garandichauya beerhall into an infectious disease control hospital. We have none here in Kwekwe in the event of a disaster we will find it difficult to control. We therefore, had to commission the former Garandichauya Beerhall into an infectious disease control facility,” she said.

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