By Joyce Mukucha
With COVID-19 evolving globally, the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) has managed to hand over another tranch of its support to Wilkins Hospital.
PRAZ is of the view that the donation is key to the nation’s health service response and COVID-19 mitigation measures in particular.
The PPEs donation included space suits, face masks – surgical, respirators, latex gloves, plastic gloves, face shields, gumboots, theatre Caps, goggles, cloth Masks, and scrub suits.
Handing over the equipment at Wilkins Hospital on the 18th of December 2020, PRAZ Board Chair Mrs. Vimbai Nyemba said Wilkins was one of the centres the procurement regulator is confident that the pandemic will be managed and help Zimbabwe to triumph over the epidemic.
She said the donation might appear small in a way but it will enable the implementation of the initiatives to halt the pandemic so that Zimbabwe continues on her economic recovery trajectory whose milestones are evident in all spheres of the country’s economy.
“This is the beginning of a very good relationship. Now that we are here, we will have an opportunity to walk around and see so that we can identify needs and donate according to needs. We really appreciate the work that you are doing. We as a procurement regulator with the dedicated and selfless Covid-19 Frontline team that have stood selflessly for the good of our country, we really appreciate the team,” she said.
Considering that Wilkins Hospital was set aside to ensure that it caters to Covid-19 patients, Mrs. Nyemba commended and saluted the staff indicating that they stood boldly and remain committed to fighting against the pandemic.
She added that when the need arises, procurement entities should procure smoothly without abusing the system.
“When Covid-19 started it was scary and we the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe were also scared about it but it didn’t have to affect the business of hospitals. When we heard there were frontline doctors and nurses we were surprised and would pray for you every time. So we really thank you and we don’t take you for granted.
“We are mindful that the procurement regulator plays a critical role in ensuring that as we get into the second wave of infections as recorded worldwide and the spiking of cases in Zimbabwe, we ensure that there is smooth procurement of PPEs through the provision of guidelines. So because of this need that we have realized, the guidelines have been put so that procurement of things doesn’t take the normal course but it will take the new normal and that procurement of urgent things like PPEs should be done as soon as possible.”
PRAZ, she said, was hopeful that the timing of the donation was intentional as it initially donated for the fitting of screens around the wards and in the ICU in April when at that time cases were spiking in Zimbabwe.
She also urged the public sector which the authority regulates not to slack but to always be prepared to take action to the prevention of Covid-19 timeously.
To other individuals and stakeholders, she highlighted that there was also a need to continue supporting key and strategic health institutions in order to strengthen the health response mechanism.
The Acting Health Director at Wilkins Hospital, Dr. Kudzai Masunda expressed his gratitude to PRAZ as he said City of Harare was happy with this corporate gesture which he said was the formulation of a new relationship between the two organisations in managing COVID-19.
“Thank you Mrs. Nyemba for the gesture that you have shown us. When the disease started, we thought it would end in China and never reach Africa. We had to find a hard way of fighting the pandemic and we have also seen its nature in terms of consumption of resources which we never experienced before. We have managed to deal with cholera, typhoid, Ebola among other diseases but when it comes to managing this epidemic. We are really honoured by you coming to the City of Harare with these precious commodities and walking with us on the journey of fighting Covid-19.
” For health workers to be able to manage a patient, they also need to feel that they are safe and whey they leave these premises they do not infect their partners, children, and relatives. So it’s a very good gesture that you have shown us and I know you have already done something for Wilkins Hospital which I think was the start of the relationship and we are happy that it’s continuing,” he said.
He added that since Wilkins Hospital is one of the two infectious diseases hospitals, there was a need to make it a centre of excellence in as much as the management of infectious diseases is concerned.
” I was discussing with the professor from the University of Zimbabwe this week and we were saying, in the UK they have the London Tropical School of Medicine but they are not the tropics, we are the tropics. So we feel that it’s high time we also create our own centres of excellence here where we learn of the diseases that affect us. We are hoping that this institution would become bigger and lead in that respect.”