COMMENT: Support Bulawayo’s door-to-door Covid-19 jabs
COVID-19 is a deadly, rapidly progressing and highly transmissible disease that has paralyzed the world, especially during the first months of its outbreak in 2020.
The virus that causes it can infect tens of thousands of people within hours and can kill within a day or two of infection. Some who have survived say it is terribly painful – the fatigue, the deep cough coming straight from the lungs, the agonizing headache, the hot but cold body, the shortness of breath and the emotional trauma.
Millions of people have been infected worldwide, resulting in 5.6 million deaths. In our country, 228,179 cases had been recorded on Saturday since March 2020, according to the Ministry of Health and Children. Of the local infections, 5,292 were fatal.
Like all viruses, the coronavirus mutates rapidly and attacks in waves – striking for about two months and retreating for a few months before returning for about two months and retreating. The cycle goes on and on, with each new wave being deadlier than the last. We are starting to emerge from a fourth wave, but health experts say a fifth is inevitable, likely around winter.
Given this devastating and frightening impact of Covid-19, we did not expect that anyone could, at any time, want to be convinced to take action to protect themselves against the disease. Wearing a mask is part of the preventive measures, as is social distancing and regular hand washing with disinfectant or soapy water.
A year into the pandemic, vaccines were introduced as a safer way to protect the world against disease.
We thought people would be rushing to get vaccinated against Covid-19; we feared that people would revolt if the vaccines ran out.
However, most surprisingly, the country has a new set of challenges in persuading the masses to get vaccinated. A vigorous print, broadcast and social media advertising campaign is underway. The government has imported millions and millions of vaccines from China, but as demand remains low, storage space is running out.
To increase vaccinations, health officials in Bulawayo have taken a more drastic step, going door to door to residents with vaccines in hand, in exactly the same way council officials are pressuring residents to that they repay their debts to the local authority or political parties seeking to convince voters to vote for them. We believed that Covid-19 was an obvious threat and that our people would not need to be pressured into getting vaccinated against it, as they are now.
“The door-to-door campaign is one of the strategies we have devised to get closer to herd immunity,” Bulawayo provincial medical director Dr Maphios Siamuchembu told our sister newspaper yesterday. , Sunday News.
“We realized that people are no longer availing themselves of getting vaccinated when vaccine doses are in abundance. In fact, we even lack storage because of the vaccines we have in the country. Our goal now is to vaccinate most eligible people. As a city, 52% of our eligible population has received all of their doses. Remember that for us to achieve herd immunity, we need at least 60% of the total population to have been vaccinated. »
Dr. Siamuchembu and his team have shown great inventiveness. They are probably the only team in the country bringing life-saving vaccines to people’s doorsteps.
Therefore, the Bulawayo team deserves kudos for performing the way they do. The other provinces of the country must imitate them. They can also offer other social marketing ideas to save our people from the disease that Covid-19 can inflict on them; to save them from an outcome far worse than illness.
Bulawayo residents must make themselves available when health workers knock on their doors with the knocks of life.
If the teams do not come to their homes, residents can always go to the nearest health center to be vaccinated, free of charge. It is vital for them to know that Covid-19 has not yet been defeated. Yes, the fourth wave is fading, but a fifth, probably more severe, will be upon us shortly. No one knows who this will make sick, or worse.