The Ward 49 War Room Operation Sukuma Sakhe (OSS) committee members, Saroj Govender, a KZN member of SANCO and Siviwe Benya, chairman of the OSS and president of the Mayibuyi Youth Organization, were part of the civil society engagement on Covid-19 with Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize on Zoom recently.

The discussions were around epidemiological trends and vaccine roll-out planning. Govender said: “The theme as about collective engagements, with many organizations showing an interest and participating in the meeting. Some of the concerns were around the vaccination and whether it was optional or compulsory.

Dr Zweli Mkhiwze advised that we all need to work together with different civil societies, business forums, religious forums, and all other relevant organizations for the benefit to control the pandemic. He pointed out that we all need to put out the message that change of behavior is required in limiting the risks of spread of Covid-19.

The Minister suggested that we need to get into a very aggressive campaign around the myth of the vaccination and put it into target-use until it reaches everyone. He said there is a plan for vaccines, and the well to do countries have ordered 10 times more the size, however the roll out plan of the vaccination process will start with the health-care workers, those working with large number of communities, those with comorbidities and then moving to the rest of the citizens.
Govender said: ” Minister Lindiwe Zulu encouraged such platforms for discussions in engaging each other and emphasized that only we can act upon relevant information. She further stated that NPOs play a vital role since they are closer to the people which are dealing with services and social development. She said that she was surprised when she got to the department and discovered that her department spend 7.6 billion on growing up NPOs, adding NPOs must be accountable on how the monies are being spent and in what areas they are working so as to deal with behavior change.”

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