Medical frontliners to Covid-19 in the country’s public health system have commended the visit and exchange of experience between them and a team of Chinese experts as fruitful.
The medical professionals welcomed adjustments to their facilities recommended by the Chinese experts saying once works are complete, they will be “a notch higher” and “more confident” to deal with Covid-19.
Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital medical superintendent Dr Collete Mawire said the exchange would go a long way in improving their preparations for Covid-19.
“We learnt quite a lot from the Chinese experience particularly regarding management of paediatrics.
In our setting we tend to ignore the paediatric aspect, but they articulated it very well.
“We also toured the hospital particularly the isolation areas and they also advised us on areas needing improvement,” said Dr Mawire.
He said the hospital was going to incorporate the recommendations from the Chinese team as they complete preparations.
Dr Mawire said the coming in of the Chinese medical team has taken their response to Covid-19 a notch higher and they were now more confident in what they were doing.
Thorngrove Infectious Disease Hospital medical superintendent Dr Edwin Sibanda said he was intrigued by the idea of classifying communities by their level of risk and preparedness.
“What struck me most was the idea of implementing different type of restrictive measures on different communities depending on the level of their vulnerability and preparedness to Covid-19.
“Honestly there should be difference in restrictions imposed on Harare and Bulawayo as Covid-19 epicentres compared to, say Midlands, which does not have any confirmed case,” said Dr Sibanda.
He said this approach ensures that other aspects of the economy proceed without interruption, while focus is on curbing spread of the virus.
Bulawayo Provincial Medical Director Dr Welcome Mlilo said the Chinese expertise came at an opportune time when the province was reworking its facilities.
He said the province would look at their recommendations and pick those applicable to their setting.
“What is most important is the fact that we are getting this experience and expertise from people who have gone through the same outbreak, but managed to contain it, hence we have somewhere to learn from,” said Dr Mlilo.
The team from Bulawayo and Midlands took part in sessions held in Mashonaland West province.
Speaking after visiting the different facilities, Chinese epidemiologist Dr Deng Zhihong said Zimbabwe should be commended for efforts done so far in combating Covid-19.
She said these efforts could have contributed to the country confirming few cases so far.
Dr Deng reiterated that the country should consider preparing few isolation facilities at a time considering the way the virus is unfolding in the country and resources available.
She said some of the areas that needed adjustments at isolation facilities include donning (taking on protective clothing) and doffing (taking off) as well as entry and exit points for staff and patients to the isolation wards — all of which should clearly be distinct.
“This is important for infection control, the clean area must be kept clean as much as possible with a clear distinction from the dirty area,” he said.
The Chinese medical team arrived in the country last week and have since had exchanges with different stakeholders in an effort to assist the country to combat Covid-19.
Zimbabwe is beginning to see a rise in cases with latest statistics currently standing at 51 confirmed cases, 18 of which have since recovered.