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World facing a medical emergency

OVER the past few weeks, we have seen the world stricken with fear and panic over what is now known as the Covid-19 (coronavirus), and its effects on many nations.

The world is fighting an enemy they do not understand; which seems more powerful than them, against which they have no weapons.

The lockdown of cities and nations that we have witnessed is unprecedented; it is a world under siege.

The world is facing a medical emergency far graver than what we have ever witnessed in this 21st century.

The coronavirus outbreak is now a global pandemic according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

From the start of the outbreak in China earlier this year, the virus is moving fast and many countries `were caught unprepared.

Many nations across the globe are battling to contain the pandemic, which has killed thousands of people and affected hundreds of thousands.

WHO describes coronavirus as a large family of viruses, which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).The most recently discovered virus causes a coronavirus disease called Covid-19.

This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with Covid-19 coughs or exhales.

These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch Covid-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

People can also catch Covid-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with Covid-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than one metre (three feet) away from a person who is sick.

WHO is saying, according to the studies to date, suggest the viruses that cause Covid-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. Covid -19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics should do not work.

Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of Covid-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.

Some western traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of Covid-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for Covid-19?

To date there is no vaccine and no antiviral medicine to prevent or treat Covid-19. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalised. Almost 97% are recovering well and thanks to the supportive care.

It is important to stay aware of the latest information on the Covid-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through national and local public health authority.

I visited one of the local hospital in Bulawayo. I was shocked to see that the majority of the health personnel had challenges of accessing gloves and masks.

As I interacted with them, the majority were mourning as they are the frontline medical personnel attending to patients without the bare minimum of personal protective equipment.

This week the Zimbabwe media fraternity and country as a whole was robbed of one of the best journalists, Zororo Makamba who died of Covid-19.

The Zimbabwe misplaced priorities are now being exposed.

According to the family of Zororo Makamba, Wilkins Hospital which the government chose to deal with the current catastrophe of Covid-19 in the capital, Harare. They say the hospital is not well equipped. It has no ventilators, water and power sockets.

America, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and France, which are some of the world’s richest countries with the world’s most sophisticated health system, are battling to contain the pandemic but they have rightful priorities.

If Wilkins Hospital in Harare is not well equipped. What about other health facilities chosen to deal with Covid-19 around the country?

The issue of corruption and looting of state funds is now exposing the misplaced priorities of Zimbabwe as a country.

The state of our hospitals exposed the ill preparedness of our country. Yes, Zimbabwe might be facing the economic hardship but all challenges are man-made.

Other African countries have started rechanneling the funds meant for defence to health. The solution for Zimbabwe do not need a rocket scientist.

Zimbabwe is the enemy of its progress. No unity no progress.

What happened to all the country precious mineral money? The abuse of state funds and tenders. Red tape bureaucracy crippled the state of our country.

The death of the young vibrant journalist has exposed the misplaced priorities in Zimbabwe. If looters had used part of the funds on social development in the country, it would have made a milestone in nation building.
I have read stories about dangerous mafia bosses abroad building schools and hospitals and getting involved in social development.

As Zimbabweans, we should all thrive for social development and stop corruption for the wellbeing of all people.

Politicians and the business community should donate towards the fight against Covid-19. Our health personnel deserve better remuneration. All we need to know my fellow countrymen is that what goes around comes around. Let us go for rightful prioritises. The time will catch you one day.

Enos Denhere is a freelance journalist based in Zimbabwe. — enosdenhere@gmail.com or call/WhatsApp +263 773 894 975.

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