586 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 4 th of November 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 133 112 after 21 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Manicaland with 8 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 3 November 2021 stood at 43 hospitalised cases: 3 New Admissions, 7 Asymptomatic cases, 27 mild-to-moderate cases, 4 severe cases and 5 cases in Intensive Care Units. A total of 9 230 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 345 309. A total of 7 4396 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 625 597. Active cases went down to 551. The total number of recoveries went up to 127 876 increasing by 50 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The death toll went up to 4 685, as there was 1 new death recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Stigma and discrimination
Reports from our networks continue to highlight an increase in social stigma and discriminatory behaviours against people diagnosed with COVID-19 and those perceived to have been in contact with the virus, including health care personnel. We note that such stigma may undermine social cohesion and drive people to hide the illness in order to avoid discrimination. This may result in the disease likely spreading as people fail to seek immediate medical attention.
We therefore recommend that stakeholders, community leaders and Government, intensify efforts in meaningfully engaging at the community level, with citizens, including people who have recovered from COVID-19, with their consent, to lead in increasing awareness and reducing stigma and discrimination.
Prioritising Women workers in the Healthcare Sector
We continue to note the challenges facing the health sector, particularly in regards to conditions of service for the health care sector workers. We note that whilst various measures have been undertaken to address ongoing concerns, there is limited improvement in real terms for the conditions of critical essential service workers. We note further that as the leadership of the health sector is largely characterised by an over-representation of men thus resulting in skewed support for the women in the sector who constitute the bulk of healthcare workers in positions of nursing and other low-ranking positions. Consequently, the limitations in provision of housing, transport other support measures to alleviate the working conditions of health sector workers are leaving behind the majority of women health workers, who are ranking at the bottom of the sector.
- We call for specific allocation of resources and programs to address conditions of service for nurses directly in the 2022 National Budget.
- We call for engagement in progressive dialogue with workers in the healthcare sector with special regard for the conditions of the nursing force.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe