Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa yesterday announced that there will be free Covid-19 testing for healthcare professionals and low income communities. There will also be broader testing for the general public at a cost. This initiative was done through his Higher Life Foundation and Alliance Testing.
“Starting today (25/06/20), any Zimbabwean who wants a Covid-19 test can get it. We have built a #Testing Alliance of over 1 500 partners, including private doctors, clinics and pharmacies”Strive Masiyiwa
He also said that they will be supplying medical facilities with test kits which they won’t pay upfront for. The costs of the tests have also been capped for Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) at US$15 and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) at US$30 (When PCR tests become available)
Those in low income communities and healthcare professionals will not pay for the tests. The cost for the previously mentioned groups will covered by the Higher Life Foundation.
He also added:
“The HSR (Health Status Report) is a tool, which enables us to pay the doctors who carry out the tests.”
“It is like a franchise system We basically pay the doctors, pharmacists, and private laboratories US$5 per test, after recovering the cost of the test kit itself.”
This initiative is also focused at ramping up testing at border posts. The essential goods that are needed in Zimbabwe have to sometimes be imported. The borders could potentially be hot spots.
“Helping to clear backlogs of testing is our highest priority. The Zimbabwe initiative is a trial, which I and a few donors are looking to scale to other countries, if it helps to slow down infections.”
Mr Masiyiwa also said that another program is being developed to help those already affected. Details on that will be announced next week.