Nduduzo Tshuma and Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls
ZIMBABWE yesterday donated 50 000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine and medical oxygen to Botswana as part of Harare’s regional efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Mnangagwa announced the donation as he opened the third session of the Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission here.
He said the pandemic has laid bare the fact that Africa and the rest of the global south, must increase internal capacities to deal with present and future threats and challenges.
“Vaccine nationalism with regards to both vaccine production and distribution has, thus, not only adversely affected the health of our nations and economies but ultimately compromised the ability of our countries to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Three towards ensuring access to health and Universal Health Coverage, that leaves no one and no place behind,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Against this background, Zimbabwe stands ready therefore, to co-operate with Botswana as well as with other regional and continental efforts as we establish sustainable health and medical solutions for our people.”
He commended the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Health Matters at the second session of the BNC in Botswana in 2020 that which he said has resulted in greater collaboration between the two nations’ institutions in the health sector.
“In the spirit of Ubuntu and our strong fraternal relations, the Government and people of Zimbabwe are pleased to donate 50 000 Sinopharm vaccine doses as well as medical oxygen to the Government and people of Botswana,” said the President.
“Please accept, Your Excellency, this humble gesture as our show of support and solidarity in this collective fight against the Covidf-19 pandemic.”
President Mnangagwa said while the BNC was being held in the midst of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic, he was encouraged that the containment measures in place within the respective countries are mitigating its impact.
In the case of Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa said, Government is determined to ensure the growth and recovery of all sectors of the economy, in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our robust vaccination drive has seen us vaccinating more than 40 percent of the eligible population nation-wide, with a number of towns and cities, including the City of Victoria Falls, achieving herd immunity,” he said.
“Following the requisite scientific recommendations, my Government this week resolved to allow children from the age of 12 years to get vaccinated against the pandemic.”
President Masisi said Covid-19 has disrupted lives of citizens and humanity at large.
“Most sadly, it has also taken the lives of a number of our dear ones, including one of Africa’s charismatic diplomats, Lt Gen (Rtd) Dr Sibusiso Moyo, the late Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Zimbabwe. May the Almighty continue to preserve his soul,” said President Masisi.
He said the discovery of the Covid-19 omicron variant by scientists in his country proved beyond doubt that Africans are equally capable of finding solutions to global challenges.
“Our strong resolve to advocate the equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, together with the massive rolling out of vaccines has greatly contributed to the low infection rates in our respective countries.
However, it remains very important that we continue to urge our peoples to adhere to the Covid-19 health protocols so that we could eliminate the pandemic,” said President Masisi.
He said he was happy that despite the pandemic, the two countries were able to work towards finding ways to advance bilateral co-operation.
Article Source: The Chronicle