From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the AO Alliance has funded the supply of locally sourced or manufactured personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect trauma and orthopedic (T&O) healthcare workers in countries in which it is active. Our effort has been extended into 2021, with more PPE deliveries.
In Zimbabwe, the donation arrived at the hospitals on May 17, 2021. It consisted of face masks, surgical gloves, goggles, face shields, disposable gowns, and hand sanitizer. The items were shared among the country’s three main hospitals: Parirenyatwa Hospital (the largest in the country), Harare Hospital (the second largest) and Chitungwiza Hospital. The T&O departments of these hospitals have a total of 60 beds for surgery and treat patients from all over the country.
Our local AO Alliance faculty, Dr Malvern Nyamutora, notes that the number of trauma cases has not decreased during the pandemic, and T&O departments have suffered from PPE resources being diverted to other hospital departments. This led to many patients waiting longer for surgical care, and others avoiding hospitals all together for fear of being infected.
For the T&O healthcare workers, this donation came at the perfect time to continue caring for the injured.