Doctors’ association blasts Govt over PPE shortages as local infections spike

ZIMBABWE Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) on Wednesday urged authorities to provide healthcare workers with adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as locally transmitted infections continue to spike.

The ZADHR report indicates that over 200 health workers have so far tested positive for COVID-19, attributable to exposure at the workplace over lack of PPE.

The doctors’ association said despite the consent order to provide health workers with adequate PPE, the medical fraternity is still scrambling for supplies.

The number of healthcare workers testing positive for COVID-19 is reportedly increasing as the pandemic continues to surge.

Front-line workers are allegedly still operating without adequate PPE despite a High Court order of April 14.

“The failure to provide front-line health workers with adequate PPE flies in the face of the April 14, 2020 High Court ruling which ordered government – through the Ministry of Health and Child Care – to ensure that all front-line health personnel at public health facilities in the country or deployed to trace contacts exposed by infected people, are provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) to shield them from the deadly coronavirus,” ZADHR said.

“Of note is the 25 health workers testing positive at Zvishavane District Hospital, three at Claybank Private Hospital in Gweru, 70 in Bulawayo and another 70 at Parirenyatwa, with the rest dotted across the county,” the association added.

Further, ZADHR lamented the reluctance to provide information in the Health ministry’s daily updates on the number of health professionals who have so far tested positive, or those recovering or deceased.

“As ZADHR, we believe it is in the interest of health professionals and the public in general to be informed on the status of their colleagues and frontline workers,” ZADHR added.

The organisation urged the ministry of Health to provide a brief on the numbers, region and status of all health professionals who have tested positive for COVID-19.

As of Saturday August 1, the country’s tally for confirmed COVID-19 cases was sitting at 3,169, 67 deaths and 1,004 recoveries.