Zimbabwe telecommunications tycoon and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa has started a great initiative which offers financial support to people who test positive for Covid-19. The philanthropist’s Home-Based Care Initiative is offering US$50 per month per family for up to 3 months as well as blankets, food, water and airtime for up to three months.
Masiyiwa announced that his Higher Life Foundation (HLF) is launching the Home-Based Care after noting that most people who get sick, suffer at home. Masiyiwa announced the US$50 monthly support in a blog post in which he said,
I served on the board of the world’s greatest foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, for 15 years. I went there to learn about philanthropy. One of the things I learnt was that philanthropists try to catalyze the change they want to see. They know they don’t have the money to do it by themselves, but they hope to demonstrate a solution which can then be scaled by others.
My initiative called #ReImagineRural is a classic example of trying to catalyze change. Our solar power initiative in Zimbabwe called Ndolwane Mini-grid is one example of what can be done in every village around the world.
A very progressive Head of State of a country in West Africa recently read about our mini-grid and asked for details, as he wants to roll out such mini-grids throughout his country. I was completely blown away and offered them all the technical assistance.
FastForward: Our new #Home-Based Care Initiative:
When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, I realized that most of the people who get sick in Africa will suffer from their homes, rather than in hospitals, simply because our hospitals cannot cope. I said there just was not enough time in most instances to get hospitals ready, even though we should try. India and China have built hospitals in weeks that can handle 10,000 people!
I proposed that African governments adopt what I called #Home-Based Care Initiatives. Here is how it works: When someone gets sick, the government, working with faith organizations and professional healthcare volunteers (ALWAYS wearing appropriate PPEs and taking proper precautions) should visit the person’s home, and offer the following assistance for a period of up to three months whilst they recover:
#1. Ensure that the COVID-positive person’s home is warm and dry, even if it is a shack;
#2. Ensure that the COVID-positive person has access to warm healthy meals every single day;
#3. Ensure that the COVID-positive persons have access to freshwater every day;
#4. Ensure that COVID-positive people have access to medical assistance, even if it is simply the ability to talk to someone on the phone. At Econet in Zimbabwe we have a “Dial A Doc” hotline (147) to call to talk to doctors;
#5. Give support to the COVID-positive person’s family, particularly if they are living with children, who may also be infected. Such support is required for a period of up to three months and would cost be up to US$50. It is not very much but it also helps the country to contain COVID-19 effectively.
Remember my formula for fighting COVID-19:
T-Treatment [however limited the medial options]