CSO in bid to tackle Covid-19 in rural areas

©️ A COMMUNITY-BASED organisation, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe (HiHZim) has set its sights on empowering rural communities in the wake of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and human rights activists have recently piled pressure on government over its alleged high concentration on urban areas at the expense of rural areas.


Already some rural villagers from Murewa and Mhondoro have tested positive to the virus, a development that has left stakeholders calling for more attention to the rural areas.
 However, in a bid to compliment government efforts, a Bulawayo-based organisation has taken it upon itself to help fight the pandemic in rural areas.
HiHZim chief executive officer Felix Tete said apart from information dissemination, the organisation will distribute food hampers, awareness material, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and disinfectants to frontline staff and other essential service providers in the seven districts which the organisation operates in.
The intervention is set to benefit more than 300 000 community members in 82 wards and 35 rural health centres in Bulilima, Gwanda, Lupane, Nkayi, Shurugwi, Chikomba and Chirumanzu.
Tete said strategies will be implemented over a three-month period to support the government in mitigating the adverse effects and the impact of Covid-19.
“Part of Hand in Hand Zimbabwe interventions includes information dissemination in local languages to create and raise awareness on Covid-19. Posters, brochures and flyers on Covid-19 risk awareness have been developed and will be distributed in all the seven districts.
 “With the Covid-19 pandemic and economic slowdown threatening the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable rural communities, we have come up with strategies that include dissemination of information, education and communication material and distribution of PPE to health centres and health professionals,” he said.
 Tete further noted that the health crisis in the country calls for all CSOs including those working with the rural communities to support government in raising awareness and putting up responsive measures in preventing the spread of Covid-19.
With a spike in cases of gender-based violence (GBV), Tete said the organisation, working with district Covid-19 task teams, will also educate villagers on GBV and how to prevent it.
The GBV awareness campaigns will also be done in partnership with the Women Affairs ministry and the Zimbabwe Republic Police Victim Friendly Unit.


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