The Salvation Army International has joined the fight against COVID-19 by capacitating its 30 general hospitals and 200 clinics around the world, which include Howard in Mashonaland Central and Tshelanyemba in Matabeleland South province.
BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
The church’s international health services co-ordinator Joan Gibson said the centres had received funding to expand their response to the pandemic.
Gibson said funds had been provided to purchase five ventilators at the 140-bed Howard Mission Hospital, among other equipment.
“Anticipating the possibility that the virus takes hold as it has done elsewhere in the world, sufficient funds have been sourced to allow the hospital to purchase more PPE [personal protective equipment] and IPC [infection prevention and control] materials such as disinfectants and soap. Funds have also been provided to buy five new ventilators and other monitoring equipment to care for people who become seriously ill as a result of COVID-19,” she said.
“A tent has been set up at the hospital’s gate to triage patients before they enter, allowing potential coronavirus patients to be identified immediately. Due to restrictions on the movement of people that have been put in place to try to reduce the spread of the virus, it’s currently only dealing with emergency patients and those who need repeat medications.”
Gibson said the 40-bed Tshelanyemba Hospital, which would receive a ventilator, has set up a phone line for villagers to call in with their symptoms so they can be given instructions on what to do before going to the hospital.
Salvation Army Zimbabwe territorial commander, commissioner Joash Malabi confirmed the development.
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Chief secretary, lieutenant-colonel Trustmore Muzorori said the church was also donating food items to vulnerable communities.