Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) says it will launch a Health Workers Safety Tracker to put pressure on the government to prioritise the safety and health of health workers who are being exposed to the deadly Covid-19.
In a statement, ZADHR expressed concern in the increased number of health workers who are testing positive for Covid-19.
The High Court, in April, ruled that all health workers should be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure that they are safe from contracting the deadly virus.
The doctors highlighted that the tracker, which is an advocacy tool, will also be utilised in enhancing access to information to the public and healthcare workers and in engaging with responsible authorities in working towards improved working conditions for health workers.
“We lament the growing trend in health professionals who are testing positive to the coronavirus, where the majority of these cases are attributable to exposure at the workplace due to lack of PPE,” the statement read.
“Reports indicate that over 200 health workers have tested positive countrywide. Of note is 25 health workers testing positive at Zvishavane District Hospital, 3 at Claybank Private Hospital in Gweru, 70 in Bulawayo and another 70 at Parirenyatwa with the rest dotted across the country.”
The association reiterated that the government does not prioritise to provide information in the Ministry’s daily updates on the number of health professionals who have tested positive, recovering or deceased.
“We urge the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the Health Services Board (HSB) to provide a brief on the numbers, region/province and status of all health professionals who have tested positive to COVID-19 to date,” read the statement.
“We continue to urge the government to improve the workplace safety of health workers through timeous and adequate provision of PPE to protect healthcare workers from contracting COVID-19.”