As the fight against the deadly Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Zimbabwe and the world over continues, civic society organisations in Bulawayo have since formed a citizens COVID-19 monitoring mechanism, codenamed Citizens COVID-19 Monitor.
In a statement, last night Citizens COVID-19 Monitor said they were an initiative that brings together people and organisations into a consortium for a holistic and human rights-sensitive fight against the pandemic.
Zimbabwe has so far recorded 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and three deaths while across the globe over a million people have been infected by the novel disease which has also claimed over 60 thousand lives.
“Our work focuses on three delivery areas: awareness raising, resource mobilisation and monitoring,” said the grouping.
“We seek to raise awareness among communities about COVID-19 pandemic based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards and guidelines with a view to strengthening citizen participation in its prevention and in mitigating its impact on the lives and livelihoods of the people.”
The grouping said it would help in the mobilisation of resources for the fight against the disease and post-pandemic livelihoods recovery.
The Citizens COVID-19 Monitor, said it will also monitor government response to COVID-19 based on global best practices by spotlighting successes and inadequacies as well as exposing and reporting on Coronavirus response-related human rights violations.
“In line with our objectives, the Citizens COVID-19 Monitor is organised into three operational units, each tasked with one of the objectives,” said the association.
“These units are the awareness-raising unit, resource mobilisation unit and response and human rights monitoring and reporting unit. In addition, our operations are coordinated by a coordinating committee composed of people from health care, human rights-sensitive disaster response, humanitarian aid, information dissemination, community mobilisation, advocacy, research and related specialities. The heads of the three operational units also sit as part of the coordinating committee.”
Effie Ncube, who is part of the initiative told CITE in a nutshell, the Citizens COVID-19 Monitor was the coming together of stakeholders in a coordinated way of fighting the virus.
“We are looking at going beyond current interventions to supporting post-pandemic livelihoods recovery,” said Ncube.
“A lot of people will have their livelihoods disrupted by this virus, so we intend to be there beyond the lockdowns, beyond the social distancing and other mechanisms that are designed to contain and mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus. We want to be there with the communities beyond to assist them to recover from the economic and social effects of the pandemic itself.”