Zimbabwe Health Interventions (ZHI) ACCE program in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Childcare (MOHCC) on 26 April 2022 launched a COVID 19 vaccination campaign project to cover all the eight districts of Midlands province. The USAID/PEPFAR supported project will save lives and safeguard HIV prevention, care, and treatment gains through addressing inequalities in accessing safe and effective COVID 19 vaccines.
Speaking at the USAID/ZHI supported COVID 19 project planning meeting, the Midlands Provincial Medical Director (PMD) Dr Mary Muchekeza emphasized the need for all stakeholders to come up with strategies, resolutions, and solutions to improve vaccination uptake in the province. She highlighted that despite the availability of COVID 19 vaccines in the province, vaccine hesitancy is still high especially for the third dose.
“I call upon all the districts to work towards reaching the vaccination target of 70% within the confines of their challenges and target population,” said Dr Muchekeza. This is the time to put our heads together to come up with practical strategies, resolutions, and solutions to improve vaccination uptake in the province. She continued.”
The COVID 19 project which is set to be completed in September 2022 will also support MOHCC to strengthen district capacity for effective monitoring of COVID 19 vaccination program including increasing quality and availability of routine COVID 19 data for evidence informed decision making.
Stakeholders who attended the COVID 19 planning meeting in Kadoma appealed to ZHI and its partners to support with resources such as Information Education and Communication materials to ensure the success of the demand creation vaccination campaigns that will take place in the province. During the planning meeting, the 8 districts of Mberengwa namely Gweru, Kwekwe, Mberengwa, Zvishavane, Gokwe North, Gokwe South, Chirumhanzu and Shurugwi submitted their comprehensive demand generation plans that will be supported by ZHI with funding from USAID/PEPFAR.
According to the Midlands 25 April 2022 situation report (Sitrep), the province had 18 375 cumulative cases, 58 active cases and a 96,9% recovery rate. A total of 701 484 people were vaccinated with the first dose, 387 015 second dose and 66 857 received the third dose. The PMD indicated that province still had a long way to reach the 70% vaccination target set by the Government of Zimbabwe.