The sacrifice that everyone has made to ensuring that we limit the spread of the Coronavirus hasn’t been praised enough. Zimbabweans have had to endure strife after struggle even in the best of times. The need to earn a living is the preoccupation of the majority. It is hard sometimes to remember that there is a global pandemic going on. There are people at the front lines of this outbreak who are going above and beyond, at home and abroad.
Zimbabwe’s healthcare professionals are at the tip of the outbreak. On top of their regular duties they are testing, monitoring those in quarantine, and caring for those affected. They have been, and continue to be invaluable to state of our public health and need all the help we can give.
Organisations, companies and individuals have stepped up to meet the challenge before the country. There have been a number of drives to gather donations, equipment and to spread vital information.
One organisation in particular is The Zimbabwe National Covid Action Trust (ZINCAT).
Started by concerned citizens, they have pooled together resources from foundations, companies, and communities to help in a variety of ways. They seek to harness the collected resources of the private sector in order to add to the Nation’s COVID-19 response.
The aims and objectives for which the Trust has been established are generally to help harness private sector efforts in the fight against COVID-19 virus in Zimbabwe in particular to establish, create, develop and institute a platform for promoting, assisting and enhancing private sector involvement in the national response in fighting the COVID-19 virus in Zimbabwe.ZINCAT.
The Trust’s goals are, to be a reliable source of news. To help share, in any way they can, the enormous burden the government has to test and care for those affected. Supplying personal protective equipment to healthcare professions and to collaborate with organisations local and abroad.
Who is behind ZINCAT?
Chairperson Dr Nozipo Maraire, Jeremy Brook, Sharon Hook, Bongai Zamchiya, Jiten Shah, Mike Gardner and Mucha Mkanganwi make up the Trust’s Board.
They have been posting regularly on their website and social media pages on preventative measures. There isn’t a lack of messages warning people about the Coronavirus but the more voices chiming in the faster it all becomes commonplace.
Beyond the preventative measures they have been publishing, they have also been posting guidelines targeted at local businesses, in the event that an employee tests positive for Covid-19.
On the 27th of March ZINCAT donated a ventilator to Wilkins Hospital. Fulfilling one of their aims of supporting existing care centres.
They have an isolation centre set up at Baines Bed and Breakfast, 121 Baines Avenue, Harare. They are actively looking for more premises to expand the number of isolation centres available. Spar has partnered with ZINCAT and has donated groceries to the isolation centre. Waverly Blankets did their part as well by donating blankets to the Isolation centre in preparation of winter.
They have been operating shuttle services for returning residents, ferrying them from the airport to a quarantine facility of their choosing.
Zincat donated reusable PPEs to the City of Harare. They have also donated PPEs to Hospitals around the country.
They have received ZWL$1 535 440 in donations from foundations and companies and ZWL$11 200 from individuals.
What’s in the pipeline
They are yet to find a venue to conduct Covid19 tests. There hasn’t yet been an update on their website. They do however aim to:
- To test 1,000 + people with PCR testing.
- To test at least 1,000 people with
antibody rapid test kits (IgG).
- Develop a sense of seroprevalence in Zimbabwe.
- To develop a sense of incidence of Coronavirus in Zimbabwe.
- To gather data to create models on how infectious disease is in our setting.
ZINCAT has done a great service for Zimbabwe, they have pooled together parties from the private sector and individuals to help the government in the fight against COVID-19. Anyone willing to donate or volunteer can do so here.