As Zimbabwe intensifies measures in the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), the country’s education and private sector has joined hands in resource mobilisation towards efforts to stop the spread of the pandemic.
This came to light during a hand over ceremony held at the State House on Wednesday, where His Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, received an assortment of donations from various players from both sectors.
Private sector companies that donated include, Zimplats, Tongaat Hulett, CBZ, Ecobank, Drax and CAPS, among others.
The donations ranged from ventilators, ethanol, face masks, protective garments, tents, theatre caps, thermometers, rapid test kits and medical supplies.
Some of the donations (face-masks, sanitizers, protective garments are being produced by local tertiary institutions namely; Harare Institute of Technology (HIT), University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Midlands State University (MSU), National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) and Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE).
In his keynote address, President Mnangagwa applauded universities and private sector players for directing their efforts towards producing various material required in the fight against Covid-19.
“I am happy that some of the items are now being produced by our private sector and our science universities in the country… saving the hard currency needed to procure from outside the country.
“The response, after the appeal we made last week, from our people is very encouraging,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also highlighted that Government, through the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, had put in place measures to cushion the majority of people in the informal sector, who have been affected by the impact of the 21-day lock down announced by Government on 27 March 2020.
Speaking during the ceremony, university leaders expressed determination to increase production of various material needed by the country in the fight against Covid-19 given resources.
MSU Vice Chancellor, Professor Victor Ngonidzashe Muzvidziwa, highlighted that his institution was producing sanitizers and personal protective equipment (PPEs).
“At the moment we have produced more than 20 000 masks we expect to get more equipment in order to strengthen capacity utilisation and increase production in that area.
“we expect to produce between 5 000 and 10 000 of sanitizers per day… We have just produced 3000 litres packaged into 5 litres, 200 and 100ml containers” he said.
Apart from the production of Sanitizers, HIT and NUST have ventured into the production of ventilators.
HIT Vice Chancellor, Engineer Quinton Kanhukamwe, told the gathering of plans to escalate the production of ventilators.
Furthermore, HIT has also embarked on the production of packaging material for the sanitizers is ready to boost production in the wake of Government for support which President Mnangagwa promised.
On its part, NUST has gone a step further to repair and refurbish already existing ventilators in health institutions across Bulawayo.
“The ventilator repair and refurbishment team have commissioned four units at United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) and they have said that this week, they are going to be working on the remainder of the ventilators that are not working” said a representative of the University’s Vice Chancellor, Mqhele Dlodlo.
More and more companies operating in Zimbabwe as well as institutes of higher learning continue to complement Government in the fight against Covid-19 through various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives thereby lessening financial burden on the State.