IOM supports Ministry of Health vaccination campaign in Beitbridge

The Ministry of Health and Childcare through the Municipality of Beitbridge recently completed a COVID-19 RCCE and mobile vaccination campaign in Beitbridge.The activity is supported by the International Organization for Migration under the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom project, which supports Small Scale Cross Border Traders in Southern Africa to do business safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The regional project is implemented in conjunction with IOM missions in Zambia Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe and has so far carried out various activities contributing towards the enhanced protection of the health and economic rights of Small-Scale Cross Border Traders through the facilitation of continued trade during the COVID 19 pandemic. These activities include training of both frontline border officials and small-scale border traders on COVID-19 infection prevention and control, trade, and travel restrictions, traders’ rights, inter-agency consultations, the development of cross-border action plans, and the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The RCCE and mobile vaccination campaign took place at key business centres where small-scale border traders operate from including Mashavire, Mashakada, Mangava, and OJs border market.

The campaign reached over 3 100 people with messages on COVID-19 infection, prevention and control measures including the correct wearing of masks, regular sanitization, and fumigation of workplaces. The small-scale cross-border traders were also encouraged to receive the vaccine and advised to follow official and verified information sources around COVID-19.

The mobile COVID-19 vaccination campaign saw a total of 565 vaccinations administered through Dulivhadzimu and Tshitaudze clinics over five days with 480 receiving their first dose and 84 receiving their second doses. IOM provided the Municipality of Beitbridge with PPE to allow them to safely assist small-scale border traders operating in markets in which they oversee. Speaking during the campaign, Municipality of Beitbridge’s Public Relations Officer, Raniel Ndou said, “We appreciate the support from IOM throughout this programme. It has enabled traders to be vaccinated at their places of work and with the information they have been given, then can trade safely during the pandemic.” The campaign continues in Hurungwe district this week.

Speaking at the conclusion of the Beitbridge campaign, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission, Mario Lito Malanca said, “We must do all we can to ensure that small scale cross border traders trade safely during COVID-19. This intervention is testament to the government’s recognition of the significant contribution of small-scale cross-border traders to Zimbabwe’s economy.”

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