662 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 19th of January 2022, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 227 552 after 411 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Masvingo with 113 cases each. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 18 January 2022, was: 126 hospitalised cases: 9 New Admissions, 17 Asymptomatic cases, 93 mild-to-moderate cases, 9 severe cases and 7 cases in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 6 998 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 222 834. A total of 7 036 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 249 450. A total of 2 490 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 33 331. Active cases went down to 11 617. The recovery rate goes up to 93%. The total number of recoveries went up to 210 675 increasing by 922 recoveries. The death toll went up to 5 276 after 10 deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Low uptake of the third dose vaccine /booster shot
We continue to note with concern, persistent low uptake of the third dose/booster vaccine amongst citizens. We highlight that low numbers could suggest renewed vaccine hesitancy amongst communities, against the backdrop of a COVID-19 variant (Omicron) which has been largely perceived by communities as “mild”.
- We urge the expansion of mobile vaccination centres in remote and rural areas.
- We recommend a robust revival of the awareness campaign and community mobilisation on vaccination, especially the 3rd dose /booster shots.
- We urge easy access to information regarding booster shots, by all citizens, especially targeted vulnerable groups and communities such as persons with disabilities, various subgroups of women, rural populace and those in hard-to-reach areas.
Availability of blood and blood services
We highlight the chronic and persistent need to ensure individuals and communities have access to safe and quality-assured blood and blood products in both normal and emergency situations. We remain concerned by consistent blood shortages in Zimbabwe which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Further, we continue to highlight the high costs of blood in Zimbabwe which together with high costs of health services, makes healthcare increasingly unaffordable.
- We call on more people to become life-savers by volunteering to donate blood regularly. We celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood and we encourage more people to start donating;
- We call for Government to promote and provide quality donor care.
Today is a call to action for Government and national blood transfusion services to invest in national blood services, provide adequate resources and put in place appropriate systems and infrastructure to increase the collection of blood from voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors.
We further call Government to;
- Sustain the investments in provision and universal access to blood services for all system specifically ensure that the cost of blood is affordable to the generality to the Zimbabwean public
promote and implement appropriate clinical use of blood;
- Strengthen the provision for testing kits and blood bags for blood services in Zimbabwe negatively impacted by the COVID19 Lockdown restrictions
- Strengthen the systems for the oversight and surveillance on the whole chain of blood transfusion and distribution of blood and blood products.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe