Local telecommunications companies through the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) and Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services on Monday donated technology equipment to fight the spread of the pandemic coronavirus.
The assorted equipment which includes computers, servers, mobile handsets, toll-free mobile and landlines, shortcodes for COVID-19, a call center and internet connectivity meant to operate the national emergency response center were handed over to the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
The donation comes at a time the country has so far recorded one fatal case out of the two COVID19 cases.
This is in line with the government’s effort to combat the spread of the global pandemic coronavirus that has spread and claimed thousands of lives globally.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister Jenfan Muswere said that the initiative will facilitate real-time monitoring of patients.
“Telemedicine facilitates real-time monitoring and interactions between patients and specialist doctors without the need to bring the patients to the hospital or to a specialist health care center,” he said.
Muswere added that his ministry has been pushing the telemedicine initiative even before the outbreak of coronavirus.
A notable example is the one established in Nyanga, Manicaland Province, a couple of years ago.
“So far, 15 rural health care centers have been connected and await commissioning. Going forward, my ministry through the Universal Service Fund (USF) will provide assistance in the procurement of ICT hardware to be used in the e-health project,” Muswere said.
Health and Child Care Minister Dr. Obadiah Moyo welcomed the gesture saying telehealth was the only way to reduce the transmission of the virus.
“We do appreciate the donation by the telecommunications industry and indeed, this is the way we want to go so that we reduce the risk of transmitting the virus from infected to uninfected persons,” he said.