Women’s Self-help Group Combats Covid-19 in Plumtree

Two thousand five hundred women in Bulilima and Mangwe districts in Plumtree under the Qogelela movement received Covid-19 personal protective equipment from the Community Foundation for the Western Region of Zimbabwe as part of efforts to capacitate them to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in rural areas. The consignment which included face masks and hand sanitisers was distributed during a two-day Covid-19 roadshow campaign held in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Child Care. The PPE was distributed in areas such as Gwambe, Ndiweni, Nyele, Izimnyama small scale, Empandeni, Embakwe, Nguwanyana, and Tshitshi.

Speaking to CITE, the Project officer at Community Foundation for the Western Region of Zimbabwe, Buhle Ndlovu said the foundation is involved in economic empowerment initiatives that specifically target women and the community at large through its concept known as the Qogelela movement. “During this Covid-19 pandemic, we noted that some of the activities that the communities and the women at large are involved in have a higher chance of spreading Covid-19 and we decided as an organization to undertake Covid-19 awareness campaigns so that women and their families remain safe whilst doing their economic empowerment initiatives,” said Ndlovu. She said the two-day Covid-19 awareness roadshow was meant to equip women with Covid-19 information and how to prevent themselves from Contracting Covid-19.
Buhle Ndlovu

Speaking during the Covid-19 roadshow campaign, Mangwe Health Promotions Officer, Thobekile Ndlovu encouraged women to get vaccinated. “Getting the Covid-19 vaccine does not mean one is immune to the virus but we are doing it so that even if one is infected with the virus it does not overpower you to the point of death,” said Ndlovu. She also encouraged them to continue wearing face masks even if they are vaccinated. “Even if we receive the Covid-19 vaccines, we continue with the Covid-19 regulations such as the wearing of face masks,” she said. Ndlovu also encouraged the women to teach their children about observing the Covid-19 regulations as they resume school on Monday.

Meanwhile, Taurai Moyo from the Ministry of Health and Child Care warned the women to avoid attending funerals as they are the super spreaders. “Let us stay at home and avoid going to unnecessary places where there is no need to gather.” “When there are funerals let the close relatives attend the funeral, as women you can always go on other days while giving each other chances so that you don’t congregate because Covid-19 can easily spread during such gatherings,” said Moyo.

However, villagers said communities are now aware of the Covid-19 pandemic. “We now understand that we don’t have to gather when there are funerals in the community, we are no longer attending funerals in large numbers,” said Irene Tshuma from Macingwana.

“Even when it comes to body viewing, we now understand that we longer have to do the process. We also do not allow the opening of the coffins of the bodies which are coming from the neighbouring countries such as South Africa, we know that through body viewing; Covid-19 can easily spread,” she said.

The village Head for the Mzila line in Tshitshi, Smart Ncube said through education and awareness campaigns the communities now understand that they have to observe the Covid-19 protocols.

Apart from the PPEs the organisation, last year rendered humanitarian assistance to the villagers in Bulilima and Mangwe to combat the effects of Covid-19. In Bulilima District during the period July to December 2020, 364 households received food assistance totalling 109 tonnes of mealie meal, 4 380 litres cooking oil, 10 tonnes of sugar beans, and 3 720 units of sanitary wear for girls. In Mangwe District, 493 households benefited from the program totalling 147 tonnes of mealie meal, 5 916 litres cooking oil, 14 tonnes of sugar beans, and 5 700 units of sanitary wear for girls.

Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology

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