Staff Reporter

Long Covid-19 holiday cuts schoolgirls from free pad facility


Zimstar News

Government says it has no means to continue rolling out its free sanitary wear facility to school going girls during the current Covid-19 induced school holiday.

Speaking in parliament recently, Justice minister and leader of the house Ziyambi Ziyambi said the continuation of the facility is not feasible when the girls are not attending school.

Ziyambi was asked by Seke-Chikomba MP, Tatenda Mavetera on what measures government has put in place to ensure school going girls continued to benefit from the facility during the current Covid-19 period.

Said Ziyambi who was standing in for Primary and Secondary Education minister, “…The proposal is very difficult to implement. When learners are at home, you do not know where to follow them.

“The programme was targeted for the period when schools are open that then they are able to access, unless if an arrangement which I will request the relevant ministry to find out whether when schools are closed, they can then have a mechanism of those learners going to school to access the sanitary wear.

“The policy generally is; it is agreed that they have to access the sanitary wear.”

Bulawayo proportional representation MP Thokozani Khupe said research has shown that 72% of girls in rural areas do not use commercial sanitary wear but resort to unhygienic means.

Khupe also said 62% of girls miss school every month while menstruating.

Under the country’s laws, Treasury is compelled to release funds to ensure the provision of menstrual health facilities to promote menstrual health.

Zimbabwean schools have remained closed following the continued spike in Covid-19 infections throughout the country.

In his 2020 budget, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube set aside $200 million for the procurement of sanitary wear for schoolgoing girls with priority directed at less privileged rural primary and secondary learners from Grade Four to Upper Six.

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Zanu PF MP wants Covid-19 graves guarded

Percy Teedzayi Muchimwe

Zimstar News

Zanu PF legislator for Mutare West, Teedzayi Percy Muchimwe has implored government to protect graves for Covid-19 deaths, claiming the virus buried with the victims underground remained so active to a point of potentially contaminating the living.

Muchimwe was contributing to debate following the presentation of the Mid-term budget review statement by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube in parliament Thursday.

The MP said protecting the graves was to ensure passersby do not contract the virus straight from the underground through water and the soils.

The legislator implored the Treasury chief to channel resources towards efforts meant to ensure other citizens do not catch the disease when they pass by the graves.

“My contribution is that the Minister of Finance must put more resources to the Ministry of Health because I have discovered that when a person dies, the virus remains active in the dead body and on burial, it stays in the ground and is incorporated in underground water and soils.

“I am saying where Covid-19 victims are buried, the places should be protected from passerbys.

“Maximum precautions must be exercised on resources used to bury such victims. Otherwise lack of funds to the Ministry of Health could be a death trap to the nation,” he said.

The MP did not suggest how that could be made possible as the Covid-19 pandemic has killed over 4 000 citizens all buried in different parts of the country.

The country has no separate graves for those who have succumbed to the world pandemic.

Zimbabwe also does not have its own study yet on whether there have been cases of infections occasioned by human contact with graves belonging to those killed by the pandemic.

Currently, the nation has stuck to social distancing, sanitising, handwashing and few other methods aimed at preventing the continued spread of the disease.


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