Background on our response
The world is watching with grave concern as the coronavirus pandemic traverses the globe, leaving behind a trail of death and suffering.
“COVID-19 is the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations,” António Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, said on the first of April. He calls for a global response to this global pandemic.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), African countries such as Zimbabwe should prepare for the worst. The slow climbing numbers are a lull in the eye of the COVID-19 hurricane. Once the numbers increase, African countries, including Zimbabwe, will not be able to handle the medical needs caused by this pandemic.
In the last week of March, as the first cases appeared in the country, health care workers in Zimbabwe went on strike because of the lack of personal protective equipment (PPEs) citing their incapacity to provide professional healthcare without the necessary preventative measures in place. Without health workers, hospitals are unable to provide treatment.
Consequently, hospitals in Zimbabwe have been compromised in their ability to treat or test people with coronavirus. Currently, hospitals such as Wilkins Hospital in the country’s capital, Harare, are turning away patients with critical needs because of the lack of health workers. Families are watching their loved ones die without medical assistance. We need to prevent this unnecessary suffering and death.
AFSC invites you to partner with us to send these health care workers back to saving lives in Zimbabwe, especially in Wilkins Hospital, the designated COVID-19 response center. We need to avert this impending COVID-19 pandemic disaster.
AFSC will work closely with the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, and National Council of Churches, USA ensuring transparency in the distribution and usage of PPEs procured. AFSC will facilitate the procurements of the PPEs from Asia, and secure humanitarian airlifting of the products from Asia to Zimbabwe.
- Provide PPEs for health workers in Zimbabwe to go back to work.
- Ensure the availability of PPEs at Wilkins Hospital in Harare and other COVID-19 designated hospitals for at least five months.
- Enhance medical personnel's capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe.
- People in Zimbabwe receive treatment.
- Hospitals can respond to COVID-19 effectively.
- Slow the pace of COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe and the continent of Africa.
This virus is a threat to us all. People in every country in the world face this horrible COVID-19 pandemic, and we pray for this to end soon. We come to you with much humility asking you to remember the people of Zimbabwe at this crucial moment. We are in this together and ask for people from around the world to show solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Zimbabwe.
During the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, Sirleaf Johnson, the then President of Liberia, demanded a "show of global unity to avert what we feared would be a worldwide pandemic." The international community responded and supported West African countries in stopping the spread of Ebola. This week, former President Johnson said, "In the face of the coronavirus outbreak, I am making a similar plea to my fellow world citizens. I do this with an acute awareness that while African nations have so far been spared the worst, it is only a matter of time until it batters the continent, which is the least prepared to fight it. We must act to slow down, break the chain of transmission, and flatten the curve."
This moment demands coordinated, decisive, and innovative action from all of us, together with maximum financial and technical support for the poorest and most vulnerable people of Zimbabwe who will be the hardest hit.