Think Tank Calls For Robust Research On COVID-19 Response

Political and public policy think tank, the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) has called on stakeholders in the fight against the COVID-19 to carry out robust research on the country’s response to the pandemic.

In a monthly report titled Public Health Access Monitoring for May 2021, ZDI says there is need to monitor and track COVID-19 vaccines’ procurement and distribution amid reports of shortages in some health care centers.

“ZDI in line with its aim to advance democracy, development, good governance and human rights in Zimbabwe recommends the carrying out robust research on transparency and accountability on government’s response to COVID-19 in the marginalized areas. Monitoring and tracking records of COVID-19 vaccines’ procurement and distribution,” read the report.

The think tank called Non-Governmental Organisations to intensifying advocacy efforts to demand information on COVID-19 vaccines procurement including the quantity and costs incurred with the media encouraged to report on marginalized communities’ access to COVID-19 vaccines

ZDI urged the Government to ensure the availability of adequate and quality COVID-19 vaccines to enable every willing citizen to be vaccinated in line with its constitutional mandate of guaranteeing every citizen’s access to basic health care services.

Zimbabwe is targeting to inoculate 10 million citizens this year to achieve herd immunity.

“Coherently and consistently communicate information pertaining to COVID-19 response and ensuring adequate information access. Allow non-state actors to procure World Health Organisation (WHO) licensed vaccines to ensure more availability of jabs to the public. In other words, the government must not have monopoly over the procurement and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines,” reads the report.

ZDI added “In the midst of the continued threat of COVID-19, fears of vaccines shortage are looming and thereby raising questions on the urgency of the government to ensure that every citizen get access to quality healthcare under the dictates of the law.”

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing COVID-19 vaccine shortages with the Government mum on when the vaccines will arrive. The country has recorded 39,238 cases with 36,746 recoveries and 1,611deaths to date.

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