Zimbabwe has managed to vaccinate at least two million (2m) people against COVID-19 despite the shortage of medical equipment and funds and has settled for the third position out of the 54 countries in Africa, this was said by Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Constantino Chiwenga in a speech read by his Deputy, Dr. John Mangwiro during the World Health Organisation (WHO)Seventy-First Regional Committee for Africa which is being held virtually.
“The successful and continued roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, made the Government of Zimbabwe ranked 3rd in Africa and building partnerships and collaborating with the private sector to enhance vaccination coverage,” said Dr. Mangwiro.
The Deputy Minister of Health noted that in order to offer quality health service, Government increased funding for the health sector to cater for infrastructure development, curbing the COVID-19 pandemic and laying the foundation of future preparedness against any other pandemic.
“On efforts of increasing domestic funding for health, Government allocated resources which amounted to ZWL$2.2 billion towards COVID response and future preparedness, health infrastructure, supplies, water, sanitation and hygiene and roads. This will take Zimbabwe closer to achieving the Abuja target of 15%,” said the Deputy Minister of Health.
Dr Mangwiro pointed out that Government and its developmental partners in its fight against COVID-19 during this current third wave availed additional funding towards the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), hiring more health personnel and setting up an oxygen plant.
“The ongoing 3rd wave, my Government and partners swiftly responded by allocating additional funds to COVID-19 response, local production of PPEs, setting up Oxygen plant, hiring additional health workers such as retired health personnel, maintaining essential health services delivery and also building health emergency preparedness capacities in the midst of COVID-19 response,” said Dr. Mangwiro.
To this end, Zimbabwe has committed US$100 million towards the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and targeted to achieve a sixty percent (60%) herd immunity in order for the country to open for the functioning of all sectors of the economy. So far 12 million vaccines have been procured of which 8.2 million vaccines are already being used in the country.
In terms of vaccination, as of 31 August 2021, Zimbabwe had seen 258 2705 people receiving their first vaccine dose and a further 163 6498 had gotten their second dose.