IAM4BYO seeks US$10,7m for city medical facilities


A BULAWAYO-BASED multi-stakeholder initiative, IAM4BYO-Fighting COVID-19, which was launched on Friday at Ekusileni Medical Centre, has embark on fund-raising programme to equip health institutions handling coronavirus cases in the city and source food hampers for vulnerable communities.


Medical professionals, the business community, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), churches and Zimbabweans in the diaspora, among others, are involved in the initiative.

“The initiative will have to raise about US$10,7 million which will help equip hospitals with testing machines and beds, sustain livelihoods, provide people who survive from hand to mouth with food baskets (cash transfers) and hygiene kits, provide effective communication in relation to hygiene and social distancing among other things,” the group said.

IAM4BYO-Fighting COVID-19 chairperson Busisa Moyo, who is United Refineries chief executive officer, said Zimbabwe should prioritise testing for coronavirus.

“It will take us maybe four to six weeks to reach the budget because we need to improve on testing and screening COVID-19 cases. Currently 500 people have been tested in the country, but it is not enough and so we need more and more tests to be done,” Moyo, said.

“Bulawayo is critical in flattening the national COVID-19 curve in Zimbabwe because it is the hub of the country’s southern region which is home to the busiest entry ports in Zimbabwe. For instance Victoria Falls (with an excess of three million tourists in 2019), Plumtree and Beitbridge border posts (which have a capacity to receive transit traffic of over 62 000 people per day).”

IAM4BYO has engaged with the Confederation of Zimbabwean Industries (CZI) to handle donations and for accountability purposes. A trust has been registered to guide and administer the broad-based initiative. CZI is the designated secretariat while Coghlan and Welsh law firm provides legal guidance.