597 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of today 16 of November 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 133 505 after 34 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Bulawayo with 9 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 15 November 2021, 18 hospitalised cases: 2 New Admissions, 0 Asymptomatic case, 14 mild-to-moderate cases, 3 severe case and 1 case in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 30 933 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 514 286. A total of 6 883recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 712 979. Active cases went up to 470. The total number of recoveries went up to 128 337 increasing by 32 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The death toll went up to 4 698 after one new death was recorded.
Critical emerging issue
Gender lens national COVID-19 response and recovery
We continue to urge for gender and social inclusion responsive COVID 19 social protection interventions. We stress that women’s leadership, experiences and perspective are fundamental to the development of a gender-lens response and recovery. Participation and equal representation of women, as provided in the Zimbabwe’s policy and legislative framework cannot be dispensed with in the COVID-19 recovery path. Not only is this important for achievement of gender equality and democracy, gender machineries and women’s organizations work closely with communities and therefore possess unapparelled knowledge and experience on the challenges, women are facing on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, they constitute the voice of authority when it comes to the design and implementation of gender lens recovery strategies.
Thus, we recommend:
•Equal gender representation in all COVID-19 structures
•Appointment of Gender and social inclusion expert on COVID 19 National Taskforce
•The Zimbabwe Gender Commission, to push for accountability to equal gender representation and balance in such key Committees, as envisaged by sections 17 and 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
•Urgent publication of analysed sex and age disaggregated data by Government on the composition of the COVID-19 taskforce teams throughout the country.
Ensuring vaccine access and equity in Zimbabwe
We highlight concerns regarding the reporting on the data of the vaccination-drive. We are concerned by the lack of publication of data in regards to districts that have received support, in particular, the rural and health-centres and disadvantaged communities. We stress that the status of the national vaccination programme, whilst meeting milestones must also be responsive to the needs and expectations of local Zimbabweans and their experiences. We are aware of efforts to target border communities directly, however reports from our networks, indicate significant pockets in those communities still being left behind.
We are concerned by the lack of publication of the gender disaggregated data by district to advise the nation and the health sector at large, on key areas of focus and support, in order to ensure vaccine equity within the country. We further emphasise the need to interrogate clear gender dynamics arising from the chaos and congestion at vaccination centres which appear to be leaving women behind due to rigidities and inflexibilities in the system.
In the same breadth, we are continually concerned that despite the procurement process of vaccines being much advertised, the realities on the ground continue to raise inconsistencies in supplies and shortages of vaccines in communities.
•We call for a national report with clear gender disaggregated data on vaccine distribution and access per District.
•We urge the publication of data in regards to Districts that have received support, in particular, the rural and health centres and disadvantaged communities.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe