By Wallace Mawire
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) says the government should ensure proper documentation under the Covid-19 vaccination programme, including the issuing of proper vaccination cards, to enhance the continued credibility of the programme.
In an open letter to Health and Child Care Minister, Constantino Chiwenga, ZLHR lawyer, Paidamoyo Saurombe, advised Chiwenga who is also the Vice-President of Zimbabwe, the human rights organisation had observed that some vaccination centres were not issuing proper vaccination cards.
Instead they were issuing hand written notes as vaccination cards. The government has said these were infact temporary cards that would be replaced with proper cards once they were available.
Considering the efforts being made by the Ministry of Health and Child Care to roll-out corona virus vaccines across the country, Saurombe said failure to issue proper vaccination cards would compromise this commendable programme.
The human rights lawyer said at the commencement of the vaccination programme Chiwenga’s ministry indicated that paper vaccination cards were being issued as a stop-gap measure while electronic vaccination cards would be issued out later.
However, Saurombe said instead of moving towards issuing electronic vaccination cards, it appeared the Ministry of Health and Child Care was retrogressing by issuing handwritten notes in place of electronic cards.
Saurombe reminded Chiwenga that the right to health-care and human dignity enshrined in the Constitution can only be realised when proper documentation is issued to people.
He expressed fears the vaccination programme would be derailed and compromised if proper documentation is not issued to people accessing vaccination at some treatment centres, hence it is in the government and people’s interest to have proper documentation processed.
Saurombe asked Chiwenga to advise ZLHR on the progress pertaining to the issuance of that has electronic cards and immediate measures that the Ministry of Health and Child Care will take to have proper vaccination cards issued.