9th ParliamentArticlesHealth

Lets establish our own Centre for Disease Control, says Biti

Harare East legislator Tendai Biti has urged the government to consider establishing a Centre for Disease Control (CDC) to help deal with unexplained epidemics like coronavirus, Ebola and SARS.


Speaking in the National Assembly, the legislator said the centre which will be equivalent to the one in America will help the country in preparing for disaster especially disease outbreaks.

My recommendation to the Minister is that given the recent emergence of these epidemics like SARS, ebola and coronavirus it is time that the Republic of Zimbabwe establishes a specialised health department.

In America, they have got the CDC which is the Centre for Disease Control. Let us have our own equivalent institution that is mobilised to deal with these unexplained urgent epidemics that has now become the order of the day,” he said.


In his response to the suggestion, the Minister of Health and Child Care Obadiah Moyo said there is already a facility in the country which is a level three laboratory adding that it, however, needs to be improved.

Yes Honourable Member, you were talking about establishing a CDC similar facility here in Zimbabwe. I want to indicate to you that what we are calling them national microbiology reference laboratory at the Sally Mugabe hospital there – that is our equivalent to the CDC but we need to improve it.

That is a level three laboratory. To get into that facility, you will have to be fully masked because that is where they deal with all these deadly viruses and bacteria.

We have that one but it needs to be spruced up. We are working together with CDC Africa to see that they also upgrade our facility,” he said.

The minister also revealed that they have been carrying out simulations for such diseases as Ebola which have been successful and that it helped them to put up the current system they have.

“We also have been carrying out simulations and the simulations we were carrying out before we knew about this Coronavirus were based on Ebola. We were saying, let us just simulate an exercise; we assume that we have two or three cases of people who have come into our country with Ebola, what do we do?

So we did that simulation exercise and it was very successful. It helps us to be able to put up the system that we have now for the Coronavirus. We have also done a similar one for the Coronavirus. I have also participated in it at the Wilkins hospital,” he said.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is the news editor for OpenParlyZW an online platform that covers Parliament of Zimbabwe activities using social media (Twitter and Facebook). He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum and a board member of Digital Communication Network.

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