By Tariro kambeu
The suspension of World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children fund(UNICEF) from participating in COVID-19 programmes by government and the sudden removal of the story in the media left citizen confused.
This came after WHO releases a statement warning the government about the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine that thousands of citizens could perish.
WHO said the Sinopharm vaccine was only accepted by the WHO in its experimental stage but the end product was never approved by the World Health Organization because of the absence of test data from inside China.
“There is no test data of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine inside China itself and therefore the Zimbabwe government should not administer it on its citizens in the absence of such data as to the possible side effects and efficiency.”
In a statement Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Mangudya said Zimbabwe does not want any outsiders or foreign investments as Zimbabwe is capable of recovering because of its mineral resources.
Health and Child care permanent secretary Jasper Chimedza on Tuesday, ordered the International Health parties to stop, forthwith, covid 19 activities for the next 3 weeks.
The reasons for the suspension were not yet clarified as government is said to have failed to communicate its message to longtime partnership.
The two Organisations however denied their withdrawal from the Covid 19 vaccination process and the vaccine itself. UNICEF failed to comment or confirm on the article in the media.
The missing link is the tests and trials which were mentioned at the airport upon arrival of the first batch, statements and comments by RBZ governor, J. Chimedza, WHO and Unicef are not corroborating to give certernity of safety to citizens.
Analyst Charles Mutama said there is a flip flop in the ushering of the vaccination which the government is supposed to set the record straight to give confidence to citizens.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said: “we are working very closely with all our partners.”
UNICEF spokes person James Maiden said the Organisation will continue to play its role together with the government in sourcing for the vaccine.
“UNICEF continues to play a key role in the roll out of vaccinations in Zimbabwe in partnership with the Government and many other develop parties”
He added that UNICEF is central to the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine globally through the covax facility and in Zimbabwe is working with the government and other parties preparing the country to receive and distribute vaccines.
WHO country representative for Zimbabwe Alex Gasasira said, they will also continue working with the government in the fight against COVID-19.
“WHO continues to work with the government of Zimbabwe and all its institutions, including the Ministry of Health and Child care in the national COVID-19 response effort”, he said.
UNICEF is facilitating supply of free COVID-19 vaccines in partnership with European union, Geneva based Organisation, Gavi the vaccine alliance which is. a public-private global health partnership whose aim is to enable access to immunisation in poor countries, the global fund for health and other donors.
It is understood that some programs such as the WHO covax vaccination plans will go ahead as planned since the government has already signed the memorandum of understanding.
The European union office in Harare also confirmed this in a tweet that, “Fabulous to see that the #covax rollout has begun in Africa, #Zimbabwe will also very soon get 1,152 million doses under covax scheme to which #teamEurope is the biggest contributor.”