A Bulawayo-based multi-stakeholder initiative has made donations of about $60 million after it embarked on a fund-raising programme to equip health institutions handling Covid-19 cases in the city.
I am for Bulawayo fighting Covid-19 Trust (IAM4BYO) board of trustees chairperson and United Refineries chief executive officer Mr Busisa Moyo said they have made donations of about $60 million.
“It’s difficult to come up with a fixed number because we have donations in kind. When talking about cash donation we have like $10 million, but that has been over a period of a couple of months.
“We also got donations from NSSA of $50 million which takes us to $60 million. We also have professionals who have donated their time,” said Mr Moyo.
He added that the trust was running a series of stakeholder engagement meetings and various resolutions were suggested at their first meeting with church leaders.
“We want to mobilise for beds. We have 71 beds and would like to mobilise for another 179 beds to fully equip Ekusileni once and for all.
Each bed costs US$880 and this is an indicative price as quoted by the supplier,” said Mr Moyo.
The breakdown for the complete bed set for Ekusileni comprises a bed going for US$350, the mattress at US$85, the hospital bedside lockers costing US$185, the hospital bedside steps requires US$90 and the cardiac table is valued at US$170.
“We need enough beds in case the city is overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases. We have seen schools like Girls College and John Tallach reporting high numbers of Covid-19 cases. So we want to prepare the city,” said Mr Moyo.
He also noted that in the next stakeholder meetings they would address the importance of completing Ekusileni Hospital.
Mr Moyo also highlighted that in line with their vision of ensuring that the city was ready, they were working to assist the National Covid-19 testing laboratory which they understood has a backlog in terms of processing samples.
“We need to assist where we can and ensure that the process is progressive. We are seeing an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and some have lost their lives. So, our mandate is very relevant.
“We want to equip hospitals. That is what we will be discussing and we need resources to do that,” he said.
Through the stakeholder engagement meetings, the Trust wishes to share information on progress done so far in view of the Covid-19 pandemic in Bulawayo.
“We had our first meeting with church leaders yesterday and we are planning to have a meeting with the business community next week,” he said.
He also added that they aimed at assisting the community towards social behavioural change, wearing of masks, physical distancing, getting tested when in contact with those infected.
Bulawayo has recorded an upward trend of Covid-19 cases with the city recording five deaths this past week.
A total of 91 new cases were reported on Friday taking the total of positive cases to 9 714, with 8 470 recoveries and 275 deaths. One death was reported on Friday from Bulawayo, which also had 39 new cases.
Harare had five new cases, Manicaland (five), Mashonaland East (three), Mashonaland West (20), Masvingo (three), Matabeleland North (three) and Matabeleland South (14). – Sunday News