By Andile Tshuma
Diasporans, Old Mutual, Chicken Inn Football Club and National Tested Seeds among other donors have donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cleaning materials to Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital.
Veteran broadcaster Ezra Tshisa Sibanda coordinated a campaign for Zimbabweans based in the diaspora to donate medical space suits for hospital staff and an assortment of PPEs totalling US$14 000.
Mr Sibanda was represented by his childhood friend acting Mpilo Central Hospital chief executive officer Dr Solwayo Ngwenya as he could not travel from the UK due to Covid-19.
With the help of artist, Ms Sisa Mnkandla and community leader Mr Qobo Mayisa both based in the UK, Sibanda launched a crowdfunding campaign on Facebook that raised money to help rehabilitate Thorngrove hospital. A Scotland based institution, TIBA, is part of the campaign and it intends to donate 4 000 testing kits to the hospital.
The Sibanda-led group will also donate hospital beds which are still being manufactured.
The donation was received by Bulawayo mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni who was in the company of Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube.
“We are also working with Scotland based institution TIBA to procure 4 000 testing kits for Thorngrove. We are awaiting government clearance as you know you can’t just bring medical things without relevant approval. We hope in the next few weeks those kits will be available in Bulawayo,” said Dr Ngwenya on behalf of Mr Sibanda.
Dr Ngwenya thanked more than 500 people who donated including the Zion Church in UK led by Pastor Zondo which donated £1 375 , Sibambene Women’s Group represented by Faith Malinga which donated £1 000 and a group of women who call themselves Over 40 Confident Women of Zimbabwe & Southern Africa which donated £270.
Old Mutual also handed over a consignment of Personal Protective Equipment for health workers as part of its $3,5 million fund launched to fight Covid-19.
The consignment included 400 aprons, 400 overalls, 2 000 gloves, 2 000 face masks and 2 000 protective shoes as Old Mutual, Zimbabwe’s leading financial services provider, takes steps to support the frontline medical staff fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
The consignment was handed over to Bulawayo mayor by Old Mutual directors, Mr Todd Moyo and Mr Bekithemba Nkomo.
Old Mutual has also provided up to $2,2 billion worth of cover to health professionals on the front line in the fight against the pandemic as part of a package that covers the life of health professionals.
The vice chairperson of Iam4Byo-Fighting Covid-19 Trust, Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda said: “I would like to acknowledge this generous and timely gift from Old Mutual.
Thank you we are most grateful. Iam4Byo-Fighting Covid-19 is an initiative that brings on board medical practitioners, the business community and civil society groupings such as churches, non-governmental organisations and individuals both in Zimbabwe and in the Diaspora.
It is heart-warming to see Old Mutual – which we know as an organisation that cares about people – making this donation. I would like to say thank you and I believe this contribution will go a long way towards the US$10 million fundraising appeal we have made to ensure Thorngrove, Ekusileni and United Bulawayo Hospitals are Covid-19 ready.”
Chicken Inn Football Club donated bread, hand sanitisers and dishwasher liquid while National Tested Seeds donated 10 000 masks. The Chronicle