Protecting Staff from the Coronavirus
Since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, the Zimbabwe Country Office has embarked on a number of measures to protect all staff members as well as visitors who enter the premises from being infected by the virus. Country Director, Heather Kerr, has emphasized that staff wellbeing and safety takes priority above everything else hence the need for everyone to adhere to all precautionary measures that have been put in place.
Clean running water, liquid soap as well as hand sanitizers were recently placed at the main gate and upon arrival at the gate, the security guards requests everyone to wash their hands before proceeding to the offices. Prior to entry, temperature checks using a hand-held thermometer are also conducted on all staff and visitors. In addition, everyone who enters the premises is expected to be wearing a mask in line with the directive from the President of Zimbabwe. Within the office compound, more hand-washing stations have also been placed at all entry points which include the entrance to the kitchen and main office.
The office has also placed a laminated poster at the gate alerting all visitors about COVID-19. The poster highlights the COVID-19 symptoms, what one must do if they suspect they have COVID-19, the preventative measures one should adhere to in order to protect themselves and others from getting sick, as well as a list of the national COVID-19 toll free hotlines.
All staff members were each given reusable masks as well as hand sanitizers, for them to carry and use during the course of the day, and when they travel. In addition, all staff member were given A4 sized fliers on COVID-19 to share with their loved ones at home.
Zimbabwe has been on Lockdown since March 24, and most Save the Children staff have been working from home, except a a few so as to ensure a smooth flow in all operations. The field offices re-opened in the last week of May and are also applying the same COVID-19 prevention measures. Field activities for some programmes have since started and all staff are required to adhere to preventative measures such as washing hands with soap, sanitizing hands before entering the vehicle, wearing a face mask and social distancing.