The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has bemoaned non-accessibility of the COVID-19 vaccines to marginalized communities a situation they said is derailing efforts to ensure more people are inoculated.
In a statement, the Commission said concerted efforts should be made to avail vaccines within close proximity to the general populace especially in the rural periphery.
“The proximity of healthcare facilities from communities remains a concern and the ZHRC proposes that the vaccine be brought closer to the marginalized communities to ensure that more people are vaccinated. Moreover, the healthcare personnel should ensure that the vaccine is accessed without protracted waiting periods at the vaccination centres so that the set targets can be realised,” reads the ZHRC statement.
ZHRC called upon stakeholders to escalate various preventive measures across the country.
“The Government of Zimbabwe is urged to; continue providing free vaccines for the benefit of everyone in Zimbabwe. Provide a consistent supply of vaccines in all areas nationwide. Intensify both media and non-media based programmes to raise awareness on the importance of vaccines and encourage the populace to freely take up COVID-19 vaccinations for the protection of their right to health and the health of others.” ZHRC said.
The Commission urged service providers and citizens to adhere to safety measures and precautions to safeguard employees from contracting the COVID-19 virus through provision of adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and ensuring that they adhere to WHO guidelines on the prevention and containment measures such as constant sanitizing of hands, proper wearing of masks as well as observing social distancing.
“Corporates and shop owners should decongest places of work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst the workforce. Corporates and shop owners should ensure that there is no overcrowding at their business premises and should adequately and consistently control the numbers of customers or clients seeking goods and services.
“Citizens are exhorted to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission by practicing social distancing and adhering to the measures enforced by the Government of Zimbabwe for containment of the virus. Observe the WHO protocols as well as embrace the free vaccination programme that is availed by the Government to protect all citizens. Follow all official instructions and abide by national health and safety precautions,” said the Commission.
ZHRC said citizens should avoid peddling falsehoods about the COVID–19 pandemic and the vaccination programmes and be guided by health professionals.