603 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 21st of November 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 133 647 after 9 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 9 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 20 November 2021, 6 hospitalised cases: 0 New Admissions, 1 Asymptomatic cases, 5 mild-to-moderate cases, 0 severe cases and 0 cases in Intensive Care Units. A total of 20 191 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 671 157. A total of 3 501 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 747 693. Active cases go down to 511. The total number of recoveries went up to 128 437 increasing by 21 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The death toll remains at 4 699 as no new death was recorded. We note with concern the dip in vaccinations over the past two days after a period of four consecutive days with a high vaccination rate. We urge continued reviews of vaccination best practices to secure the vaccination target of 50 00 vaccines a day is actually met and to ensure we are ahead of the infections by consistency in vaccination.
Critical Emerging Issue
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 healthcentres and disadvantaged communities. We are concerned by a shifting of attention in vaccine drive to those over 16 and under 18 to the disregard to those eligible and willing who were unable to access vaccination due to limits on access in their day to day lives. 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.
- We call for announcement and implementation of measures to ensure that border communities and hard to reach, remote communities receive expanded access to vaccines. Outstanding issues.
Gender lens National COVID-19 response and recovery
We continue to urge gender equality and women representation in COVID-19 response structures. We emphasize that the impacts of COVID-19 have been neither gender blind nor gender neutral, and that women have taken the hardest hit. Therefore, they should be allowed the space to be architects of their own solutions. 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:
- As a starting point, more women including women’s rights organisations should form part of the steering committees for COVID-19 response Coordination, such as the 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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe