At least 3 000 people from Beitbridge took part in the Communication and Community Engagement and vaccination campaign with more than 500 getting vaccinated during the programme.
The programme was spearheaded by the International Organisation for Migration, under the UK-based Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, together with the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
It saw residents receive messages on COVID-19 infection, prevention and control measures including correct wearing of masks, regular sanitization, and fumigation of workplaces.
The IOM is responsible for supporting the safety of Small Scale Border Traders in Southern Africa in their business operations during the Covid-19 pandemic
According to a statement, the IOM said the RCCE and mobile vaccination campaign took place at key business centres where small scale border traders operate from including Mashavire, Mashakada, Mangava and OJs border market.
“The campaign reached over 3 100 people with messages on COVID-19 infection, prevention and control measures including correct wearing of masks, regular sanitization, and fumigation of workplaces.
“Traders were invigorated to follow verified and official sources concerning the pandemic and to receive the vaccine.
“The mobile COVID-19 vaccination campaign saw a total of 565 vaccinations administered through Dulivhadzimu and Tshitaudze clinics over five days with 480 receiving their first dose and 84 receiving their second doses.”
The IOM provided Personal Protective Equipment to the Municipality of Beitbridge in operating markets which they oversee.
Speaking during the campaign, Municipality of Beitbridge spokesperson Raniel Ndou applauded the programme.
“It has enabled traders to be vaccinated at their places of work and with the information they have been given, then can trade safely during the pandemic.”
The campaign continues in Hurungwe district this week.
IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission, Mario Lito Malanca said: “We must do all we can to ensure that small scale cross border traders trade safely during COVID-19. This intervention is testament to the government’s recognition of the significant contribution of small-scale cross border traders to Zimbabwe’s economy.”
The regional project is implemented in conjunction with IOM missions in Zambia Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe and has so far carried out various activities contributing towards the enhanced protection of the health and economic rights of Small-Scale Cross Border Traders through the facilitation of continued trade during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These activities include training of both frontline border officials and small-scale border traders on COVID-19 infection prevention and control, trade, and travel restrictions, traders’ rights, inter-agency consultations, the development of cross border action plans and the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE).