Prioritise women safety: Minister

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BY VANESSA GONYE

HEALTH and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro has called on stakeholders to prioritise the safety of women during disasters as they were the most affected by natural calamities such as floods.

Addressing an African Risk Capacity Roundtable policy discussion on gender mainstreaming in disaster risk management in Harare at the weekend, Mangwiro said there was need to train more women on disaster management so that they could assist others in times
of crisis.

“Let’s also think of those who are pregnant as we look at disasters.  We must not only focus on the injured.

“We also need to be careful not to leave behind the midwife and the baby; if we are not careful we will end up losing both the mother and the baby or they may die.

“We need to protect the babies. There is need to train those who care for them as well as to equip them with disaster management knowledge.

“COVID-19 has taught the ministry everything. We are in the process of setting up e-health.

“We need to make sure that the necessary technology is there. We need to incorporate new methods of dealing with disasters other than providing shelter and goods.”

He said access to health was essential in disaster management, adding that women needed to be trained to work virtually with medical personnel.

Mangwiro said people with disabilities were usually looked after by women, hence the need to prioritise women on issues of disaster management.

Women’s Affairs deputy minister Jennifer Mhlanga said: “Strengthening of policies in gender risk management is important and we are already receiving funding in the Africa Risk Capacity programme since last year where we are provided funding for emergency risk situations.”

Mhlanga said they would make sure women are prioritised in disaster risk management to ensure they are safe during disasters.

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