BY NIZBERT MOYO
THE chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health, Ruth Labode, yesterday expressed concern over the fact that Zimbabwe has a few free COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing centres at a time the number of infections in the country is soaring.
As of January 31, Zimbabwe had recorded 33 388 COVID-19 infections, 26 044 recoveries, and 1 217 deaths.
Labode’s remarks came soon after Information and Publicity secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana last week stated that the country got US$45 million for test kits last year.
Mangwana said the grant did not come in hard currency.
“It is true that US$45 million worth of personal protective equipment and testing kits was allocated to government by the Global Fund. My concern is that the country still has a few COVID-19 testing centres other than the usual hospitals,” Labode told Southern Eye.
“I am pleased that Bulawayo now has five more COVID-19 testing centres and that they have received testing kits. This will assist other three hospitals such as the United Bulawayo Hospitals, Mpilo Central Hospital and Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital, which are already offering the services,” she said.
Labode said the US$100 million that government had allocated for vaccines would motivate the country’s development partners to keep on assisting Zimbabwe in controlling communicable diseases.
The legislator also urged government to come up with communication programmes that would convince citizens that vaccines were safe.
Follow Nizbert on Twitter @N.M