'Observe World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines'

Health care givers have been urged to observe World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines during the home based care management of Covid-19 patients.

Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) specialist and national trainer in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Ms Vimbainashe Musenyereki said care givers and household members should receive guidance from trained health workers on how to adhere to the IPC recommendations, as well as limit the patient’s movement around the house and minimise shared space.

Speaking on the sidelines of a training workshop organised by the Ministry of Health and Child Care for health experts in Harare yesterday, Ms Musenyereki said there was need to implement WHO guidelines such as maintaining social distance, isolation, wearing of masks and sanitising to avoid the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19 patients were supposed to have their own room and bathroom to minimise contact with others.

If a dedicated room was not available, they were supposed to maintain as much distance as possible from other members of the household.

“After we have identified a patient, the person is supposed to be in isolation,” said Ms Musenyereki. “Isolation will depend on how big is our facilities. Where we can afford to have a patient utilising a specific different room, the better.

“The patient use their own room, blankets, beds and toiletries, among others. It is ideal if the patient uses their own toilet.”

'Observe World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines'
'Observe World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines'
Ms Musenyereki said where a family had limited facilities, there was need to identify a place where the Covid-19 patient would be kept to maintain a distance from others.

“We also know that with our community set ups it is not always the case that we will be able to have separate bedrooms or even toilets,” she said.

“In a situation where we are not able to have a separate room, let’s say we are using one room, we can identify a specific corner where our patient is going to be stationed during the isolation period.

“The most important thing is to maintain social distance and it’s just a matter of drawing a demarcation during the period.”

Ms Musenyereki encouraged other family members to always wear face masks to reduce the spread of the pandemic.

“They must also keep their window open for the patient to get fresh air,” she said. “When we are eating we know that we are going to take off our masks. Preferably, they should eat at different times and avoid any conversation at meal times.

“After eating they should wash the plates using hot water with soap.”

Ms Musenyereki also advised care givers to clean all surfaces, paying particular attention to frequently touched surfaces.

“In a situation where they don’t have separate bathrooms, we advise that they should always wash their hands with sanitisers before they touch anything so that others won’t get contaminated,” she said.

“If the Covid-19 patient uses the bathroom or toilet, a grown up person should be able to clean the bathroom, the toilet seats, using disinfectants.”

During the day, the patient was supposed to spend time outside to get fresh air and sunlight.

“If they want to talk to their relatives, they should go outside and maintain the social distance which is recommended of at least two metres away from the next person, so that they can talk,” said Ms Musenyereki.

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