“I volunteered to help and support the Ministry of Health because I realised that the COVID-19 pandemic is a life threatening problem not only in Zimbabwe, it’s a global problem, and I wanted to offer my support and services to save lives.”

John Masimba, Driver, HALO Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens a population where many families are already struggling to survive. The World Food Programme estimates that cereal production last year was half that of 2018 and amounted to less than fifty per cent of the national requirement. This year looks set to be even worse. Health provision is also limited—with figures suggesting the two main hospitals now have just 5 intensive care beds between them.

Following the first cases of coronavirus diagnosed in-country, HALO Zimbabwe has mobilised as part of the government’s national task force to help protect the most vulnerable. Thanks to the generous support of the UK Department for International Development, we have been able to pivot from our work clearing landmines, to the COVID-19 emergency response.

Driving 25,000km to support COVID-19 Response

Since the beginning of April, our team has been on the road, using our fleet capacity and logistical expertise to provide assistance to rural clinics in need of aid and supporting the country’s COVID taskforce in and around the capital Harare. We have driven over 25,000km, across 8 provinces, making 146 deliveries of vital medical supplies to community hospitals and clinics.

Our team has also been providing transport for Ministry of Health staff in Mashonaland Central province—ensuring they can reach remote villages with important health messaging. We are transporting doctors and nurses to health training sessions, helping monitor washing facilities and driving medical technicians to support contact tracing to reduce the spread of the virus.

John Masimba is one of HALO Zimbabwe’s dedicated drivers who have been making this work possible. He was determined to support his country’s COVID-19 relief efforts and be part of the global response to fight the pandemic.

“HALO already saves lives through clearing landmines, now I am ready to save lives again by helping the health sector.”

John Masimba, Driver, HALO Zimbabwe

Thanks to the support of the UK Government and staff like John Masimba, HALO will continue to work with the government of Zimbabwe to ensure no one is left behind in the fight against COVID-19.