A few weeks after pledging to donate a consignment of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital in the capital, Zimbabwe’s leading financial service provider, Old Mutual Zimbabwe has fulfilled its promise.
The consignment was handed over by Mehluli Mpofu, the managing director of CABS, a banking subsidiary of Old Mutual Zimbabwe.
The development comes following its promise to commit ZWL$3.5m towards the fight against the deadly COVID-19.
The donation at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, formerly Harare Central Hospital, followed a similar move at Thorngrove Hospital in Bulawayo last month as part of the BusinessFightingCovid-19 (BFC) initiative.
The consignment delivered at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital consisted of 600 aprons, 600 overalls, 3000 overall shoes, 300 boxes each of gloves and masks.
Old Mutual also provided up to ZWL$2.2bn worth of cover to health professionals on the front line in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Old Mutual Zimbabwe chief executive officer, Sam Matsekete said the conglomerate had made it a priority to safeguard the health professionals as they battle to save the lives of Zimbabweans.
Matsekete said Old Mutual would pay up to 12 times monthly basic salary to the surviving family of the health professional through the scheme.
Hopewell Mungani, the Sally Mugabe Central Hospital acting Clinical Director said: “On behalf of Sally Mugabe Central Hospital management and staff, we greatly appreciate Old Mutual Zimbabwe’s kind donation of locally produced personal protective gear.
“This donation will go a long way in motivating and capacitating the frontline medical staff in their relentless efforts to fight and mitigate against the spread of COVID- 19. The PPE ensures that Health Care Worker safety is put at the forefront in this fight against an unseen enemy.”
Oswell Binha, a trustee of the #BusinessFightingCovid-19 Trust said the private sector had raised around ZWL$20m worth of resources under the initiative.
“The goal of the initiative is to rapidly deploy flexible resources to assist in the equipping and administration of existing medical facilities for the benefit of the Zimbabwean population,” he said.
“We believe the country continues to require collective energies to satisfactorily mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Old Mutual has always and significantly so, played a key role in assisting broad efforts to deal with national problems. We thank them wholeheartedly.
“We continue to invite and encourage other corporates to join us in our efforts to contain this catastrophe. It is part of our derivation of social licences to operate our businesses.”
Old Mutual and its banking subsidiary, CABS, have also boosted the capacity of local institutions of higher learning to complement the national fight against COVID-19.
The company provided funding to boost their capacity to innovate and address immediate and long-term impact from the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Africa University, Old Mutual and CABS are partnering the institution to continue its efforts to innovate and partner with industry to mass-produce sanitisers, some which will be distributed in the community.
Chinhoyi University which has already started to produce masks has already received four overlocking machines which have helped it increase throughput from 3000 to 6000 masks a day.