Support for COVID services in Zimbabwe

We’re raising £30,000 to provide clinical services for patients with COVID-19 in Harare, Zimbabwe. The situation is critical.

COVID-19 has arrived in Zimbabwe, but health care workers are on strike, and fear and stigma of COVID-19  means the response is down to a single well- equipped hospital with 3 dedicated doctors and a handful of staff working 24/7. 

To keep these frontline services going, we are seeking support for the next few months to provide top up to the meagre salaries of the team. With an initial gift of $1000, we were able to pay nurses a one-off top up of $10 - this was completely transformative for the clinical services and for staff morale. It has been very humbling that such a small amount of money made so much difference.

The Story
Zimbabwe has been in economic crisis for more than a decade including a hyperinflationary economy which has led to dis-investment in, and a gradual breakdown of, the health care system - once one of the best in sub-Saharan Africa. This means that nurses are currently earning an equivalent of $50 and junior doctors $70 per month. However, living costs remain high - with 1 litre of milk costing $1.30. Doctors and nurses have been on strike over the past year leading to a complete halt of the health care system.

In the past two months, there has been a substantial increase in COVID-19 cases. The BBC report on 29 July shows the dire situation. Dr Rashida Ferrand from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was asked to establish and lead a COVID-19 unit at Parirenyatwa Hospital – the central teaching hospital in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. The hospital has over 300 beds including 10 ICU beds and piped oxygen – theoretically, there is capacity to treat COVID-19. However, Dr Ferrand has been running the unit with a skeleton staff of 2 junior doctors, a handful of nurses, and support staff. They have been on call 24 hours a day and work 7 days a week. While they have been able to successfully save many lives, it is not humanly possible to keep this up. With dwindling PPE and no plans to resolve this by the hospital administration, the team is exhausted, demoralised and vulnerable to COVID-19.

To maintain the service at the current level for the next 6 months, we want to provide a stipend of $25 per month for non-clinical workers, and $50-100/month for clinical workers. This will address the immediate crisis, and attract more support. Already, there has been publicity about the COVID19 unit at Parirenyatwa Hospital, because they have looked after several public figures.

Donations

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  • Anonymous 
    • £40 
    • 6 d
  • helen belger 
    • £50 
    • 10 d
  • Anonymous 
    • £250 
    • 13 d
  • Anonymous 
    • £25 
    • 17 d
  • Gareth Tudor-Williams 
    • £100 
    • 20 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Suzanna Carter Francis 
Organizer
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
Rashida Ferrand 
Beneficiary
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