The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has requested the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) to avail information on frontline health workers who are exposed to coronavirus.
In a letter dated 21 July 2020 and addressed to MoHCC acting secretary Gibson Mhlanga, the doctors said they have noted a growing trend in health professionals who are testing positive to the coronavirus, where the majority of the cases are attributable to exposure at the workplace. The doctors wrote:
The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) is a membership-based organisation that represents the interests of medical practitioners who seek to advance the right to health in Zimbabwe.
As you are aware, on the 14th of April 2020, with a Consent Order, the High Court ordered the government through the Ministry of Health and Child Care to provide all frontline health personnel at “public health facilities in the country or deployed to trace contacts exposed by infected people, are provided with personal protective equipment (PPE)…” to protect them from the deadly Coronavirus.
Despite this, we have noted a growing trend in health professionals who are testing positive to the coronavirus, where the majority of these cases are attributable to exposure in the workplace.
We have also noted that there is no priority in providing information in the Ministry’s daily updates on the number of health professionals, the bedrock of the response, who have tested positive, recovering or deceased.
AS ZADHR, we believe it is in the interest of health professionals and the public, in general, to be informed on the status of their colleagues and frontline staffers.
We also urge the Ministry to provide a brief on the numbers, region/province and status of all health professionals’ who have tested positive to COVID-19 to date.
ZIMBABWE ASSOCIATION OF DOCTORS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS