Ministry of Health and Childcare conducts COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) and Mobile vaccination campaign with IOM support.
CHIRUNDU- The Ministry of Health and Childcare recently completed a COVID-19 RCCE and mobile vaccination campaign in Chirundu. The activity supported by the International Organization for Migration under the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom project, which supports Small Scale Cross Border Traders in Southern Africa to do business safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The regional project is implemented in conjunction with IOM missions in Zambia Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe and has so far carried out various activities contributing towards the enhanced protection of the health and economic rights of Small-Scale Cross Border Traders through the facilitation of continued trade during the COVID 19 pandemic. These activities include training of both frontline border officials and small-scale border traders on COVID-19 infection prevention and control, trade, and travel restrictions, traders’ rights, inter-agency consultations, the development of cross border action plans and the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE).
The RCCE and mobile vaccination campaign took place at key business centres where small scale border traders operate from including Karoi, Magunje, Elephants and Chirundu. The campaign reached over 3000 people with messages on COVID-19 infection, prevention and control measures including correct wearing of masks, regular sanitization, and fumigation of workplaces. The small-scale cross border traders were also encouraged to receive the vaccine and advised to follow official and verified information sources around COVID-19. The Ministry of Health and Childcare have classified informal traders as a hard-to-reach population with regards to vaccinations and have intensified efforts to bring vaccination campaigns to where they operate from. The mobile COVID-19 vaccination campaign saw a total of 767 vaccinations administered over four days with 597 receiving their first dose and 170 receiving their second doses. IOM distributed personal protective equipment (PPE), 700 bottles of hand sanitizer and 200 boxes of surgical face masks to Port Health for use by frontline officials working with small scale cross border traders in various capacities. Speaking at the end of the campaign, District Health Promotion Officer, Komborero Gotosa said, “The nature of their work means that informal and small-scale traders interact with large numbers of people, they are at high risk of contracting COVID-19. We thank IOM and their partners for supporting government in this initiative to bring vaccination right to the doorstep of those who need it most.”
IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission, Mario Lito Malanca highlighted that with a similar campaign having been completed in Beitbridge last week, government efforts supported by IOM, have in the last two weeks seen over 6000 people reached with COVID-19 infection prevention and control information and 1247 COVID-19 vaccines administered through mobile clinics.