Shocking stats reveal that since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 over 1,500 healthcare workers including doctors and nurses tested positive for the virus while eight lost their lives.
When Zimbabwe recorded its first Covid-19 cases, doctors and nurses went on a strike demanding that the government provide them with personal protective equipment so that they can safely treat Covid-19 patients without exposing themselves to the virus.
The Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA) released a statement on Monday saying men and women in the healthcare sector were risking their lives treating Covid-19 patients without proper protection.
Healthcare professionals of all grades are putting up sterling efforts to serve the population despite serious challenges and risks to themselves and their families. As of last week, over 1 500 healthcare providers had contracted the virus and at least eight had succumbed to the disease.
The health sector is under serious strain from the pandemic, despite all efforts from all stakeholders with limited resources to meet the escalating demands on health care services, the association said.
ZIMA condemned the government’s spokesperson Ndavaningi Mangwana for accusing doctors of being assassins who were killing top government and Zanu PF officials.
On Sunday Mr. Mangwana wrote on his Twitter account: “This is what’s leading to the unfortunate conspiracy theories that there are certain political players being eliminated in hospitals by political activists hiding behind medical qualifications.”
In response, ZIMA said: “Public confidence in the profession has been eroded following reports on social media from a senior government official (Mangwana) to the effect that medical practitioners (especially senior hospital doctors) are hired to assassinate people in hospitals. These utterances are indeed unfortunate and regrettable about a profession that is doing their best under very trying circumstances to serve the population.”
However, Mr. Mangwana has since issued a public apology over his statements after widespread criticism.