THE Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union (ZPNU) has clinched a deal with a Chinese-based organisation for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to 3 000 healthcare workers in the country who are in the frontline of the coronavirus fight.
BY BRENNA MATENDERE
Currently, the broke Zimbabwean government is struggling to provide PPE to health workers and last week, nurses and doctors threatened to down tools citing lack of safety when dealing with COVID-19 patients.
However, in a refreshing development, the ZPNU has entered into a deal with the Chinese organisation Sunrise Foundation Group of Philanthropists for supply of PPE.
“This partnership is meant to create a pool of personal protective clothing and equipment like N95 respirators, ventilators, surgical masks, goggles, gumboots, disposable surgical aprons among other key health consumables necessary in fighting the COVID-19,” ZPNU secretary-general Douglas Chikobvu said.
Robert Chiduku, the ZPNU president, said the deal could benefit about 10 000 people.
“The Chinese organisation will also source for some equipment from our people based in China and their partners as well. In essence, the deal will see Zimbabweans abroad and those in the country joining hands in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Currently, Zimbabwe has nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death.
Chipo Munjeri, executive director of the Chinese organisation, implored Zimbabweans staying in the Asian country to support the cause.
“Our foundation aims at partnering with different organisations in Zimbabwe that may need our assistance at any time. Such is the time right now, every healthcare worker in Zimbabwe needs our help. They need protective clothing and protective equipment to carry out their duties safely … no nurse should fear going to work because they are not adequately protected in their personal capacity.
I, therefore, call upon Zimbabweans staying and working in China to help us with donations to complement our efforts,” Munjeri said.