By Thandeka Matebesi
More than 15 clinics in Tsholotsho district have benefitted from PPE donated by diasporians as a way of assisting communities and health institutions in the area to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The donations came following a call in June by Tsholotsho Rural District Council (RDC) Chairperson Councillor Esau Siwela for community members based outside the country to come to the aid of locals.
Siwela said at least 15 clinics out of 22 clinics in the district and a few schools had received sanitisers, face masks, infrared thermometers, latex gloves and face shields.
“In June I engaged diasporian communities on the issue of lack of PPE in our clinics, at the time there was nothing. After my call for the diasporians to plough back to the community, several individuals and community development initiatives came to our aid, the response has been great. This month alone I have been to more than two clinics handing over donations.Some of the clinics that benefitted include Tsholotsho urban clinic, Sipepa, Jimila, Shaba and Nkunzi. Schools such as Nemane Primary and Nemane Secondary have been the latest beneficiaries of the donations,” said Siwela.
He added: “The Nemane diasporian community recently donated four infrared thermometers, 100 litres of sanitisers and four sprays which are very welcome donations”.
Tsholotsho District Medical Officer Dr Nyasha Tsikira said the donations from the diasporians were helping to ease pressure on health institutions in the area.
“The challenge we have been facing is shortage of PPE, while the government supplied, it is not enough. We have also been working with Councillor Siwela who has mobilized the diasporians to donate to our health institutions. Ultimately, we have managed to relieve the pressure on health institutions in the district.I understand that quite a number of health institutions have benefitted so far,” said Dr Tsikira.
He, however, said that Tsholotsho District hospital was functioning without laundry machines which is a cause for concern.“The other concern is that the hospital does not have laundry machines, our laundry rooms are in a bad shape and this is greatly affecting us. We are appealing for donations to solve this problem,” he said.