4TH Wave Imminent: Vaccination Remains The Only Lifeline
…Municipality calls on as many Manzini citizens as possible to vaccinate and take the booster shot
With the Covid-19 fourth wave knocking on Eswatini’s door, having already started rearing its ugly head in Europe and some African countries, the only lifeline that remains is vaccination and more vaccination. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Kingdom of Eswatini’s Ministry of Health speak the same language; that vaccination against the virus is key. The Municipal Council of Manzini, therefore, joins the national Government and WHO in the call for citizens of Manzini and the entire country to take the Covid-19 jab. Moreover those who have already taken their first jab of AstraZeneca and Pfizer are reminded to take their second jab. That will save citizens from the anticipated devastating effects of the fourth wave. Citizens can access the vaccine in nearby hospitals in and around the City of Manzini; these being Sobhuza Clinic (J&J and Pfizer), Raleigh Fitkin Memorial (RFM) Hospital (AstraZeneca) as well as Lamvelase Clinic/AHF Manzini (AstraZeneca). All these clinics open daily and the vaccines are suitable for ages 18 years old and above whilst Pfizer is available for ages 12 to 17 years old.
The national Government, through the Ministry of Health, has also rolled out a programme for eligible citizens who are already vaccinated to take Covid-19 booster shots as a means to strengthen resilience to the corona virus. Those eligible for the booster shots are encouraged to do so. Furthermore, citizens of Manzini, whether vaccinated or not, are urged to continue practising the Covid-19 preventative protocols in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Recent daily Covid-19 statistics show a surge in new confirmed cases in the country, with 44 new infections having been confirmed by the health ministry on Monday alone. Citizens are encouraged to continue practising physical distancing, washing hands frequently, thoroughly using soap and running water and wearing face masks at all times.
Speaking to Manzini News recently, Sister Samkelisiwe Mabuza from the Ministry of Health confirmed that the Covid-19 fourth wave was inevitable in the Kingdom of Eswatini and that achieving herd immunity (having at least 70 percent of the population vaccinated against the virus) remained essential. She further stated that currently available vaccines were Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson as well as AstraZeneca; and everyone was eligible to take the vaccines. She encouraged citizens to state any underlying conditions they may have before getting vaccinated. “It is important that we all vaccinate. The vaccines’ benefits include reducing severe illness by helping regenerate antibodies to detect the virus early and minimize chances of dying from the virus. What is important to know is that through herd immunity, the virus would be contained and controlled. We plead with citizens to take any of the aforementioned vaccines before the 4th wave hits Eswatini”, she emphasized.
On another note, businesses in the city are encouraged to manage overcrowding in shops and to encourage physical distancing at all times. Hand sanitizers with the acceptable alcohol content must be applied on every customer on entry into a business establishment. Wearing of face masks is also strongly encouraged within and outside business establishments.
…MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES SENSITIZED ABOUT 4TH WAVE
As the saying goes; “charity begins at home”, the Municipal Council of Manzini last Wednesday took the initiative to sensitize its employees about the looming 4th wave of Covid-19. The sensitization session was facilitated by a vibrant team of health practitioners from the Ministry of Health. The employees were cautioned about the importance of keeping safe from the virus through thorough washing of hands, avoiding crowds, physical distancing, use of hand sanitizer and wearing of face masks at all times. The health practitioners further emphasized on the importance of vaccination against the virus. Sister Samkelisiwe Mabuza from the Ministry of Health explained in-depth about how the vaccine works; putting strong emphasis on the fact that the vaccine reduces chances of death associated with the virus.
…ESWATINI PLANNERS LOOK INTO FUTURE OF URBAN PLANNING
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, together with Eswatini’s municipalities, last Friday came together to facilitate for urban planners to discuss the status of urban planning in the Kingdom of Eswatini. This was in line with Town Planning Day, which is internationally celebrated on 8th November annually. The urban planners also took a look into the future of the urban planning profession – including a presentation on planning and technology. Participants included planners that are not only working in the cities and towns but also those in the private, academic and other public sectors.
The Minister of Housing and Urban development stated that “planners play a pivotal role in developing the country and in attaining 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11 (making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable). During the meeting an interim committee that will assist in the establishment of a Town Planners Association was elected. The committee will also facilitate information sharing and resource mobilization for development of the sector.
WORLD AIDS DAY 2021
The Municipal Council joins the world today in commemorating the International World AIDS which is observed on the 1st December the world over. As a Municipality we take this time to look back at how we have fared in responding to HIV and AIDS. We look at the LaMvelase Clinic as a flagship project that started in 2004.
The LaMvelase Help Centre
This is a clinic that Council is operating in partnership with the Ministry of Health, AMICAALL-Eswatini, AIDS Health Foundation and PSI. Back in 2004 when the clinic started the target was 500 clients, to-date we have over 15 000 clients. The clinic provides a range of healthcare services for registered clients, including free HIV testing, treatment of opportunistic infections, TB, sexual and reproductive as well as non-communicable diseases. Over the years the clinic has grown to be the largest free standing HIV and AIDS Clinic in Eswatini.
We see a brighter future and more opportunities for growing the response to HIV and this cannot be possible without Public Private Partnerships. The Municipal Council of Manzini will continue to push boundaries to make LaMvelase Help centre a one-stop shop for all HIV and AIDS services. We will continue to build partnerships for the delivery of such services until AIDS is completely eradicated.
Through such partnerships, a new state of the art clinic is being constructed adjacent to the existing clinic and we are looking forward to expanding the services which benefits not only the Manzini residents but also clients from all the four regions of the country. The construction project is funded by AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
As the theme of the year has been succinctly coined, Together ending AIDS, inequalities and pandemics, we will continue to work tirelessly towards the fight against HIV, COVID-19 and all inequalities. As we approach the 4th wave, we would like to urge residents to get vaccinated against COVID – 19. We urge the Manzini residents to visit LaMvelase Help Centre to learn about the services provided and also to announce that LaMvelase help Centre is now a Vaccination Site. Vaccination services are available from 9 am to 4pm on a daily basis.
MANZINI FLEA MARKETS
The Manzini City Council encourages entrepreneurship and shall be hosting flea markets this weekend. Come and shop for your Christmas and Agricultural needs.
Agricultural Flea Market at the Bus Rank Next to the Police Post Friday 3 December 2021
Street Flea Market on Louw Street on Saturday 4 December 2021