Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
THE humanitarian and philanthropic work of First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, yesterday got a boost after she received a consignment of personal protective equipment (PPEs) from Chinese First Lady, Professor Peng Liyuan, to control the spread of Covid-19.
Amai Mnangagwa, who is the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) vice president, received disposable masks and infrared thermometers which are expected to help in scaling up the fight against the pandemic.
The donation was inspired by Amai Mnangagwa’s nationwide tours since the start of the pandemic, where she is educating the elderly, disabled and children living on the streets and marginalised communities and distributing the much-needed food, blankets and sanitisers.
The PPEs are expected to go a long way in complementing Government, international partners, stakeholders and other individuals efforts to contain the pandemic.
Handing over the goods, the wife of the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Madame Wang Wei, said both Prof Peng and Amai Mnangagwa were exemplary leaders in promoting healthcare, empowering vulnerable women and children, enabling human development and the general betterment of society.
“We were particularly touched to see Her Excellency Amai Mnangagwa go on a nationwide tour last month, bringing the much-needed food, blankets, sanitisers, and information to the elderly, the disabled and children on the streets and marginalised communities.
“Today’s donation, from one caring female leader to another, is a celebration of this love and goodness that makes us human. It reminds us we are more bound together in a human society than pulled apart by the different manifestations of a me-first mentality,” she said.
She said Harare had rendered support to China at the height of its battle against Covid-19 and on the other hand, Beijing had donated over 842 000 masks and over 100 000 pieces of PPEs to Zimbabwe.
China and Zimbabwe had united in fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic and supported each other morally and materially since the beginning of the outbreak.
“The danger of Covid-19 has brought out the best in China-Africa friendship. What we have is a multi-faceted relationship. We are connected by the ties between our governments, militaries, businesses and members of the general public,” said Madame Wang.
Speaking after receiving the consignment, the First Lady said the fight against Covid-19 pandemic in developing countries such as Zimbabwe required coordinated responses and support from international cooperating partners.
She said the gesture shown by Prof Peng was testimony of true friendship between the two countries and was a display of the comprehensive strategic partnership between Zimbabwe and China.
“The pandemic has brought a lot of challenges to our health systems. My office and I have been carrying out awareness campaigns on the importance of prevention of the disease through basic hygiene. We have gone around the country especially to rural areas, spreading the message of prevention to the elderly and people with disabilities to avoid unnecessary loss of life.
“This message needs to be supported by critical resources. This is why we wholeheartedly welcome the donation that Madam Peng has made to us,” she said.
The First Lady thanked Madame Peng for taking the lead in coordinating and implementing the international partnership to create a healthy and stronger global community with a shared future that is Covid-19 free.
“I am sure that OAFLAD, through the able leadership of the First Lady of the Republic of Congo, Her Excellency, Madame Antoinette Sassou Nguesso, will be more than happy to continue working with Madame Peng to complement our Government’s efforts in improving the health systems in African countries under the auspices of FOCAC.”
Amai Mnangagwa pledged to work closely with Madame Peng to further contribute towards the strengthening of bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and China.
“I share her commitment towards that objective and as the Chinese will say, “When people work with one heart, they can even move Mount Tai,” she said.
To date, over 10 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed across the world with about 500 000 deaths recorded.
As at Monday, Zimbabwe had 734 confirmed Covid-19 cases with nine deaths and 197 recoveries.