The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) says the country is in a state of neglect owing to human rights violations in the midst of the Covid-19 global pandemic.
This is contained in the ZPP monthly report for March 2020 in which the human rights watchdog says government has not invested much in health delivery system.
“The unpreparedness of the Government to deal with COVID-19 is an indication of a state that has not invested enough in improving the country’s health delivery system. The health sector has for long been in shambles as doctors frequently go on strike for long periods citing incapacitation and a shortage of drugs and equipment for use in public hospitals.
“The announcement by health personnel on 25 March that they were downing tools again reflects a government that does not take seriously the welfare of its workers and of the citizens who are supposed to be taken care of by those professionals,” reads the report
ZPP says the lack of basic equipment at Wilkins Hospital was unfortunate and is a reflection of neglect of public health institutions.
“Failure by Wilkins Hospital to have basic equipment and tools such as an electrical adapter and oxygen ventilators is regrettable and is a grim reflection of how public health institutions have been neglected for long. This is evidenced by the fact that it has become a norm for government officials and their families to go abroad to seek medical attention”
The watchdog condemned the refurbishment of two private hospitals in Harare at the expense of public health institutions where the majority of Zimbabweans seek medical attention.
“The refurbishment of two private hospitals in Mt Pleasant and Avondale is an insult to the majority of Zimbabweans who rely on public institutions for medical attention. This move to refurbish the two institutions is an indication of a society that cares more for the welfare of the elite at the expense of the majority,” said the human rights watchdog
In the midst of Covid-19, ZPP says “Accessing services such as water, health and electricity is a nightmare. Locking down citizens without a proper plan on how they will access such services and be able to feed their families becomes retrogressive as the citizens will most likely break the directive to stay at home in order to fend for their families.”
The watchdog called for Government to ensure that citizens have enough food, water and access requisite services during the Lockdown among other measures.