Commercialization Of COVID-19 Testing Worries Zim Women

The Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) has expressed concern over limited COVID-19 testing in public health institutions saying citizens have been left at the mercy of private laboratories who are charging exorbitant fees for both rapid and PCR testing.

In a statement, WCOZ blasted government for being passive when COVID-19 testing is being commercialized much to disenfranchisement of the majority of people who cannot afford the exorbitant fees demanded by laboratories.

“We remain concerned, however, that testing and tracing of cases was being largely driven by the social and economic activities of individuals and the private sector,” WCOZ said.

The women’s grouping expressed concern about the low and limited testing in public health facilities.

“This is further supported by the number of persons approaching private sector-approved facilities for COVID-19 tests. We are concerned, however, of the low and limited rate of testing by public hospitals and driven by the public sector initiatives on surveillance of COVID-19 themselves,” further reads the statement.

WCOZ urged government to push for a reduction in testing costs in private health institutions.

“We urge government to announce the current capacity to test for COVID-19 by public health providers in the country as well as intervene and secure a reduction in cost of tests in the private health sector,” WCOZ added.

“We urge the government to strengthen the reporting of COVID-19 pandemic status for Zimbabweans to strengthen the trust in public data and to support the change of behavior critical to influence citizens to support the stemming of the disease”

Currently, Zimbabwe has recorded 20499 COVID-19 cases and 528 deaths cumulatively.

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