Doctors give Govt ultimatum over protective clothing

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has implored the government to adhere to the High Court order which stipulates that all health workers should be given Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in order to avoid exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The order was passed by the High Court on April 14, in response to a petition filed by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) on behalf of ZADHR on April 5, over the lack of proper equipment to deal with the spread of the virus.

In an interview with CITE, ZADHR secretary Dr Norman Matara, said government would be given a week to comply with the High Court order.

“As of now we haven’t seen any movement from the government, we thought to give them up to a week to provide PPEs since the order was made last week,” said Dr Matara.

“We heard there was equipment which was coming in but we are yet to find out if it includes PPEs.”

He said at the moment health workers are operating in health facilities without adequate PPEs which leaves them exposed to the virus.

President of Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA), Enock Dongo, also expressed concern over the health risk that health workers face in their line of duty.

“We are talking of a life and death situation here which puts health workers at risk. In our hospitals we have small quantities of PPEs and not all health workers have them,” said Dongo.

He said the government should follow through with providing adequate protective equipment in all health facilities as it is a matter of urgency.

“We want the government to respond in a positive way, we know it cannot cover the whole country at once but it should act in a rigorous manner, right now they are behaving reluctantly,” said ZINA president.

Recently President Emmerson Mnangagwa stated in his recent address on the lockdown that all health personnel would acquire adequate PPEs and government would ensure all health institutions were to be fully equipped and well stocked, to curb the global pandemic.

Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE)