Thorngrove Hospital in Bulawayo received a major boost after Old Mutual Limited and its subsidiary CABS donated a consignment of the much needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care workers who are serving in the frontline to combat the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
The diversified financial services group donated 400 overalls, 400 aprons, 2000 gloves, 2000 face masks and 2000 protective shoes and also announced the establishment of an insurance facility for health workers.
In addition, Tierra Chemicals also chipped in with disinfectants such as Hydrogen Peroxide and hand sanitisers.
Speaking at the donation handover on Thursday, one of the directors of Old Mutual, Todd Moyo, representing Group CEO Samuel Madzekete, said as corporates they realised that fighting COVID-19 would require a significant amount of resources.
“This also requires the input of all corporate companies to come together in support of our fellow Zimbabwean selflessly putting themselves forward to serve, care and protect our communities, which motivated us to provide the much needed protective medical gear to Thorngrove Hospital,” he said.
“While we cannot cover every single essential service worker in the country we hope that our efforts in conjunction with our fellow colleagues in business fighting represented by #Iam4Byo can inspire other corporates to join us in the fight against COVID 19.”
This donation is part of the $3.5 million that Old Mutual donated countrywide towards the coronavirus fight.
Another Old Mutual director Bekithemba Nkomo added that Old Mutual had set up an insurance facility for all the health workers in the country.
“If you know health workers in the frontline and would like to be covered by the insurance, they must be in touch with us or simply dial on their phone *227# on any of the three mobile networks. They will be able to register for this facility. It is open countrywide, we hope that they won’t need but it will be available and they need to register,” Nkomo said.
Nkomo noted the facility was free for the duration of the pandemic.
“No, they are not paying. The insurance is covered by Old Mutual for this period. If their details are entered in the system, they will be covered. When COVID-19 is over, the insurance is no longer necessary,” he said.
Managing Director of Tierra Chemicals, Edward Muchengeti, urged other companies in the chemical industry to lend a helping hand to the city.
“If everyone in the chemical industry had to do their part, the city would not be stressed in accessing protective chemicals. We brought in 500 litres of 50 percent Hydrogen Peroxide, which if converted to working solution is 12 000 litres of Hydrogen Peroxide. This is going to be used to sanitise the streets and we also brought in a few samples of hand sanitisers that we are making locally in Zimbabwe. We donated the same sanitisers to Ekusileni Medical Centre and Mpilo Central Hospital,” he said.
Bulawayo Mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni, expressed gratitude for the donations.
“This is an indication that residents and corporates are committed to making sure we have the necessary resources to limit or curb the spread of this pandemic. We are grateful that you want to lift and carry this burden to make sure we have PPE to protect the staff in attending to patients and for the rapid response teams plus a refurbished Isolation ward,” he said pointing to the construction work that was in progress.
The mayor also applauded efforts of the health workers who were risking their lives to save others.
“As at April 23, 2020 Bulawayo has 10 confirmed cases, with one death. For the past days, we have been carrying out contact tracing for clients who are positive to make sure we flatten the curve.
“We continue to do this and follow up on those who are arriving in the country through various borders. If people are tested and are positive, they are isolated. Ekusileni Hospital is a national referral centre but Thorngrove is for Bulawayo and needs your assistance so let’s look after it,” he said.