Is Zimbabwe prepared for Ebola?

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s state of preparedness in dealing with emergency diseases is worrisome and frightening.

The laid back and lackadaisical attitude by those tasked to deal with such issues add to the shambolic state of infrastructure in our healthcare delivery system which is supposed to be a source of confidence.

Right now there is no absolute confidence that systems and procedures can be strengthened without counting fatalities.

The emergence of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in some parts of West Africa and the subsequent deaths of more than 1 000 people is really a cause for concern for Zimbabweans domiciled here.

There is every reason for the current trepidation and anxiety over government, particularly, the ministry of Health and Child Care, to deal with the disease if it ever reaches our shores.

No one has forgotten the more than 4 000 deaths caused by cholera in 2008 when the current minister, David Parirenyatwa, when confronted by hard facts by civic groups and relief agencies, dismissed the disease with a wave of the hand.

This has not been forgotten!

While Parirenyatwa has assured us that Zimbabwe and other partners in the region are prepared to fight Ebola, there are serious doubts about his ministry’s pedigree to deal with Ebola if it ever reaches us.

This is amply demonstrated by lack of a decisive policy on visitors from West Africa and those wishing to visit that part of the world.

By now we had hoped that Parirenyatwa and his ministry would have petitioned relevant authorities to place a temporary ban on all visitors coming from the countries afflicted by Ebola.

It does not inspire confidence to just screen visitors at entry points because potential carriers of Ebola can slip through because our borders are so porous.

Zambia and South Africa have banned their nationalities from visiting the affected parts of West Africa and the ban also extends to West Africans wishing to visit their respective
countries.

Here, there is little information at grassroot level while at a national level, there is isn’t much to show real preparedness for eventualities except sporadic statements from Parirenyatwa when pressed by the media.

A stitch in time saves nine. Indeed, it is every Zimbabwean’s hope that this time around Parirenyatwa does better than his infamous wave of hand in dismissing cholera which eventually claimed more than 4 000 lives.

Right now there is trepidation and anxiety; it is justified given events of the past.

Comments (3)

Zimbabwe has got prophets of God so we are more than prepared

Tawanda - 25 August 2014

at list now l now

spencerlovers - 6 October 2014

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