Retired UK based Zimbabwe nurse dies from Covid-19

Rachel Makombe-Chikanda

A retired Zimbabwean nurse based in the United Kingdom has died of coronavirus after she had been invited back to work to assist front line staff in the fight against the world pandemic.

Rachel Makombe-Chikanda, who was 67, died Friday at Royal London Hospital after spending 21 days fighting for her life on a ventilator at the same health facility.

A career nurse in her right, the former Parirenyatwa Hospital nurse worked in that job for 47 years before retiring at 65.

Sadly, the very same job she dedicated her entire working life in, would eventually lead to her own demise.

Makombe is survived by three daughters and seven grandchildren.

She joins an ever-growing number of UK based Zimbabweans, the majority employed in that country’s financially rewarding health profession, who have succumbed to the scourge in one of the world’s dangerous Covid-19 territories.

Read Makombe-Chikanda’s professional background as revealed by close associates below.

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Rachel Makombe-Chikanda

Age 67

A nurse for 47yrs

Has 3 daughters

Onica Chik, Joy Makombe, Chi Po

And survived by 7 grand kids.

First girl child in a Chitsanza :Manica Village to attend school at St David’s Bonda School in the most difficult times when the girl child was only to be prepared for marriage. Her sucesses opened up doors and benchmarks to other children (both girls and Boys) to persue education.

She did her nurse Training at Harare Hospital-Zimbabwe. Then she transferred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals -Hospital and through her passion for nursing, she trained and mentored quite a few nurses along a career. Her passion was Infection Control and Infectious Diseases which led her travel the world attaining more knowledge in looking after infectious diseases patients, before settling in the UK.

Her career started at St Bartholomews now known as The Royal London and subsequently moved over to Coppetts Wood Hospital then Royal Free Hospital. She worked with Infectious diseases patients during the Ebola, SARS outbreaks and HIV patients some of whom are from our Zimbabwean community whom she adopted as her own.

She had since retired at age 65yrs, but because of her love of nursing she’d do casual Bank work. During the Covid-19 outbreak, Rachel extended her services and unfortunately contracted the virus.

After spending 21days on a ventilator at the Royal London Hospital, Rachel succumbed to Covid-19 on 01/05/20, leaving her family and colleagues devastated and heartbroken.

She will be greatly missed 💔