The battle against Covid-19 is now head-quartered in the Office of the President and Cabinet, with Dr Agnes Mahomva moved from the post of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care to become Chief Coordinator of the National Response to the Covid-19 pandemic with immediate effect.
The need for central control arose as more ministries and agencies are brought together to manage the pandemic and implement the measures required, with high-level medical expertise and professional leadership needed at the centre to advise the President and Government on the full range of health matters and recommend actions and to ensure that there is efficient administration of the required multi-agency effort.and response.
In a statement yesterday, the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said: “The post has been created after due consideration of the work of the ad hoc Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Covid-19, which has indicated the need for an evidence based, and coordinated division of labour between and among Government agencies and other significant entities, as the country acts to prevent, manage and contain cases of infection and illness relating to the virus.”
Dr Mahomva is bringing extensive knowledge and experience both from her work in Government and from her previous assignments in the country, and in regional and global health organisations.
“As the Government’s principal technical spokesperson on efforts to combat the Covid-19 threat, Dr Mahomva has been on the frontline in defining Government strategy and in providing guidance to the public on behavioural adjustments needed to protect the populace against the spread of the pandemic, as well as on necessary health protocols that must be followed when dealing with cases, both suspected and established, of infection,” said Dr Sibanda.
He added: “Dr Mahomva’s leadership is critical in coordinating the country’s expertise in medical, epidemiology and related research and practices, and intensifying activities in the area of public health at a time when the country is contending with a formidable health threat.”
Dr Mahomva, he said, would also be responsible for ensuring synergies in activities relating to the logistical, resource mobilisation, materials production and distribution, protective services and monitoring functions in the fight against Covid-19.
An announcement on the appointment of a new Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care would be made in due course.