Zimbabwe: Avenues Clinic Dance to #JerusalemaChallenge in Covid-19 Fight

Master KG's hit song Jerusalema is World's most searched song.
4 September 2020

The Avenues Clinic is celebrating health care workers who are at the frontline of the fight against Covid-19 with a social media dance challenge which sparked a global dance frenzy recently.

Featuring employees of The Avenues Clinic and one of the staff member's young son, the video tells a story of critical services being provided by healthcare workers to Covid-19 patients.

The Clinic encapsulated their video with a unique Covid-19 messaging to the hashtag JerusalemChallenge which went viral on Twitter since July.

Groups of people around the globe have been posting videos dancing to South African star Master KG's hit track, Jerusalema.

People from varying racial backgrounds among them students, dancers, fitness enthusiasts, nuns and priests have posted their videos on Twitter responding to the dance challenge.

While many have merely done it to show off their sleek dance moves, the Avenues Clinic's video carries a refreshing inspirational message of good service in the face of a pandemic which has since claimed more than 850 000 lives worldwide.

Avenues Clinic's Corporate Affairs Officer, Cordellia Shereni said the video was inspired by the selfless work and commitment of healthcare workers around the world, but more specifically in Zimbabwe and at the Clinic.

She said the #Jerusalemachellenge came to mind as the clinic wanted to make people smile, dance and remain hopeful regardless of the pandemic.

"Our inspiration was from what we see on a daily basis, especially the work that healthcare workers are doing during these challenging times. Our staff has remained committed from the time that the disease was first recorded in the country up to now.

"They remain standing and unwavering despite the fear and anxiety. There was a time when some of our staff members tested positive at the same time and we had to temporarily close our Casualty Unit to readjust our staff after contact tracing.

"It was difficult to see the caregiver needing assistance after a selfless effort to serve patients, and got exposed to Covid-19. The height of our joy and positivity came when they recovered and were more than happy and keen to come back on the frontline and face the enemy with more strength and resilience," she said.

The Clinic has since reopened its Casualty Unit which was closed after some staffers tested positive in July.

Six months on since the first case was reported in Zimbabwe, 6 638 positive cases have been recorded with 206 people succumbing to the disease as of September 2.

Encouragingly 5 250 have recovered from the highly infectious virus.

Shereni said though it has been a difficult period with the staff continuing to spread cheer to the patients who are currently not allowed visitors, the experience had made them a united big family.

"We have all become one big family which understands that we rely on each other when in the hospital, patients and staff. Therefore, we have to spread cheer and not allow the pandemic to also take our happiness.

"We have also taken time to allow our service champions access to professional counselling during such a difficult period. It has really helped them to remain positive and deal with the anxiety, fear and negative impact of Covid-19," Shereni added.

The Avenues Clinic is assisting patients without requesting for PCR tests upfront while onsite Rapid Diagnostic Testing (RDT) is being offered at US$15 per test.

Shereni said heightened screening, regular disinfection, physical distancing measures, adequate level of Personal Protective Equipment for staff and changes to visiting policy are some of the measures put in place in fighting the pandemic.

The hospital has donated its Montagu Clinic unit to assist in increasing the national beds in response to Covid-19 with funding being sought "to finalise set up of the unit and purchasing of the required equipment to start admitting Covid-19 patients," Shereni said.

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