Vice President, Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care has urged people to jealously guard their health, saying his Ministry is working towards ensuring health care is accessible to all citizens.
The Vice President said this while presenting a paper on Public Health and National Security in Zimbabwe at the Zimbabwe National Defence University yesterday where he noted that there is a growing acceptance of the concept of public health security in the context of national security.
“Health is a valued asset that is to be guarded jealously by individuals, families and communities and indeed the nation. Expressions like health is life and health is wealth speak to the fact that health underpins several aspects of our social, cultural and economic life.
“Over the last two decades or so we have seen language begin to emerge which speaks to health security, health and security, public health and security health threats and many others. The conversations around these aspects indicate that there is growing acceptance of the concept of public health security in the context of national security,” said Vice President Chiwenga.
The Vice President highlighted that information dissemination plays a critical role in issues of health and national security.
“You will agree with me that information or intelligence is power. Seemingly routine and harmless information can be used as formidable intelligence and can give an advantage over competitors, be it in public health, economic development, politics or war. To detect and stop epidemics countries need robust surveillance for rapid detection of public health threats,” he said.
The Vice President revealed that the government has finalised protocols with regards to vaccinating the 16 to 17 years age group, while research continues on the lower age groups.
“Protocols for vaccinating the 16 to 17 age group is done and the ministry will soon roll out the program in schools, while protocols on the 12 to 15 years age group is being worked on to reach herd immunity by December 2021.”
To date, a total of 3 345 309 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19. As at 4 November 2021, Zimbabwe had 133 112 confirmed cases, including 127 876 recoveries and 4 685 deaths.