Following concerns that village health workers attending to malaria patients in Mashonaland East province were now hesitant to attend to perform duties for fear of contracting Covid-19 (coronavirus) due to lack of personal protective equipment (PPEs), Government has promised to avail the PPEs to the village health workers.
The province has been plagued by a devastating outbreak of malaria which has claimed 205 human lives in the first quarter. As a result, the village health workers raised alarm for fear of contracting Covid-19 in the event of a misdiagnosis.
Mash East provincial medical director, Dr Simukai Zizhou, told state media that the province was expecting a consignment of cloth face masks this week and said the beneficiaries of the face masks would be village health workers.
He however bemoaned the prevalent overpricing of face masks, pegged at US$3 each.
The province has an estimated number of 3 000 village health workers.
“There is a high demand for PPE such that the private sector where we resort to when we do not get enough quantities from Natpharm is either overcharging whatever they have or they do not have the supplies at all,” Dr Zizhou said.
“This is unsustainable considering the fact that these are disposables and one needs to constantly change them,” he said.
According to Dr Zizhou, they had resorted to cloth facemasks and the first order will be delivered this week for further distribution to the districts.