Former Health minister calls on govt to ramp up vaccination program

FILE PHOTO: A health worker vaccinates a man against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Harare, Zimbabwe, February 18, 2021. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo

By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu

Former Health and Child Welfare minister, Henry Madzorera has urged the government to speed up the Covid-19 vaccination program and establish mobile clinics in the rural areas.

This comes after the country recently witnessed a spike in Covid -19 infections.

In a statement Madzorera, the MDC Alliance Secretary for Health and Child welfare said introducing mobile clinics in remote areas will make the Covid-19 vaccination more accessible.

“The government must accelerate vaccination of the population. Distances to clinics in the rural areas are too long and mobile clinics must be deployed to every district, the elderly and those with co – morbidities need the vaccine the most, but they cannot walk long distances.

We are still expecting the government to make a pronouncement on the efficacy and safety of all the vaccines that we are using,” he said.

He added that if the government explains the efficacy of the vaccine, it will also accelerate the faith of the citizens in the vaccine.

“Announcement of the efficacy the vaccine that will surely motivate any who is still doubting. Once we urge all Zimbabweans to be vaccinate. This is our ticket out of the pandemic. Vaccination must remain a matter of free choice, the majority of Zimbabweans want to be vaccinated now, let us make the vaccine available,” he said.

He added that the carnage caused by this Delta variant is self-evident. It seems to be more vicious in transmissibility and severity of illness and seems to be affecting younger members of the population also. There is need to employ all the Covid -19 safe practices with more diligence as we add new tools in our arsenal.

DR Lincoln Charimari a representative from the World Health Organization and medical doctor said the Covid-19 Alpha variant which was first detected in the United Kingdom has been reported in 182 countries, territories, or areas. The Beta variant which was first detected in South Africa has been reported in 131 countries, the third one being the Gamma variant which was first detected in Brazil and been reported in 81 countries and three new countries and lastly the Delta variant which was first detected in India and has been reported in 132 countries and eight new countries.

“In Zimbabwe Delta is responsible for 95of cases, Beta for 16%and Alpha for 2.5%. These proportions are dynamic and likely to change over time.”