By Anyway Yotamu
The country’s leading financial services provider Old Mutual has delivered a consignment of Personal Protective Equipment for health workers at Thorngrove Hospital in Bulawayo as part of its $3.5 million fund towards the fight against COVID-19.
The consignment includes 400 Aprons, 400 overalls, 2 000 Gloves, 2 000 face masks and 2 000 protective shoes.
The institution takes steps to support the frontline medical staff fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the protective gear is locally-produced, with the manufacturer pledging adherence to highest health standards.
In a speech read on his behalf by Mr Todd Moyo, Old Mutual Zimbabwe Chief Executive Officer Mr Sam Matsekete said,” this is part of the consignment, part of which will also be distributed to Harare Hospital as part of the #BusinessFightingCovid-19 initiative. This is an initiative by the private sector to pool resources to fight the outbreak of the fast-spreading coronavirus, IAM4BYO, which is co-ordinating the private sector’s response against COVID-19 in Bulawayo,” said Mr Matsekete
Mr Matsekete added that, “the priority is to safeguard the health professionals as they battle to save the lives.
Old Mutual also provided up to $2.2 billion worth of cover to health professionals on the front line in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic as part of a package that covers the life of the health professionals.
“In the unfortunate event of losing the life of a health professional, Old Mutual undertakes to pay up to 12 times monthly basic salary to the surviving family of the health professional. Through the scheme, Covid-19 deaths and accidental deaths are covered immediately whilst death from any other causes has a three- month waiting period,” Mr Matsekete said at the launch of the scheme via Zoom held on 9 April, 2020.
The consignment was handed over on Thursday by Old Mutual directors, Mr Todd Moyo and Mr Bekithemba Nkomo on behalf of #BusinessFightingCovid-19.
In his acceptance speech at the handover ceremony, Vice Chairperson of IAM4BYO – Fighting Covid-19 Trust, Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda said:
“I would like to acknowledge this generous and timely gift from Old Mutual, thank you we are most grateful. Iam4Byo-Fighting Covid19 is an initiative that brings on board medical practitioners, the business community and civil society groupings such as churches, non-governmental organisations and individuals both in Zimbabwe and in the Diaspora. It is heart-warming to see Old Mutual – which we know as an organisation that cares about people making this donation and I believe this contribution will go a long way towards the US$10 million fundraising appeal we have made to ensure Thorngrove, Ekusileni and United Bulawayo Hospitals are Covid-19 ready.”
The equipment delivered at Thorngrove Hospital is part of practical initiatives the conglomerate and its local subsidiaries, who include its banking unit CABS initiated to complement the national fight against COVID-19 by also bolstering the capacity in tertiary institutions to innovate and address immediate and long-term impact from the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Africa University, Old Mutual and CABS are partnering the institution to continue its efforts to innovate and partner with industry to mass-produce sanitisers, some which will be distributed in the community and Chinhoyi University which has already started to produce masks has since received four overlocking machines which have helped it increase output from 3000 to 6000 masks a day.