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LAC Leading the COVID-19 Awareness Drive
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Church leaders in Zimbabwe have joined the world in the fight against COVID-19 through awareness-raising programs in Nkayi, Masvingo, Beitbridge, and Gweru. This is being done in conjunction with the Ministry for Health and Child Care, and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP). The intention of these campaigns is to encourage people to adhere to COVID-19 regulations and to vaccinate against COVID-19.

Leaders, who are part of the Local Advocacy Champions (LAC), started off in Nkayi District.  The LAC did its campaign at the Bus terminus where there is a hive of activities that include buses that ply the Bulawayo-Zenka-Gokwe-Gwelutshena routes. In attendance a representative from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Mr. Norman Hlabangane and Councillor Gasel Masuku.

The awareness drive was also done at Gweru’s busy open market called Mtapa using hailers (mega phones). The Ministry of Health estimates that there are over 2000 vendors and buyers per day, hence the reason why the awareness was done there. The area does not have any well-maintained ablution facilities and enough running water thereby exposing people to other diseases besides COVID-19. Using hailers selected members both from the LAC and those from the Ministry of Health took turns to spread the message on COVID-19 and encouraging people to vaccinate.

In Masvingo, the COVID-19 drive was at Mucheke Shopping center. The area has a consortium of businesses with the informal sector being the dominant one. Present at the campaign was the Covid-19 Taskforce spokesperson Mr. Rodgers Irimai (picture), the District Nursing officer Mrs. Christine Chamboko and the District Heath promotions Officer Ms. Shumira Mumhuri.

In one of his remarks, Mr. Irimai urged the residents to complement the work that the Government is doing in the fight against the pandemic so as to guard against complacency. The message of the COVID-19 3rd wave was promulgated extensively during the awareness campaign.

The COVID-19 drive was also carried out at the Zimbabwe-South Africa border town, Beitbridge.  The campaign was held at Mashavhire or  Mashakada growth point. Twelve (12) LAC members together with the representatives from the Ministry of Health and  ZRP took part in the awareness. Of note, this awareness was unique in that the Ministry of Health set up a vaccination station at the Mashakada center. The campaign convinced Five (5) members of the LAC to take the jab.

To date,  COVID-19 cases have risen to over 168 million, leading to over 3 million deaths globally.  Over 149 million people have recovered from COVID-19. According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, in Zimbabwe, there were 38 706 COVID-19 cases, 1 587 deaths and 36 517 recoveries. There is a total of 639 553 people that have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the country. More synergistic efforts are still needed to fight the COVID-19 scourge.