Meet the medical experts advising the Zimbabwe govt on COVID-19

(Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP)

In September 2020, Zimbabwe announced a panel of experts to advise government on its COVID-19 response.

“The public may recall that Cabinet approved the establishment of a COVID-19 Experts Advisory Committee, whose objective will be to provide science-based evidence, advice, and guidance on the National COVID-19 Preparedness and Response in support of timely evidence-based policy decisions,” Cabinet said on September 8.

The panel works with Dr Agnes Mahomva, who is the chief coordinator of Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 response, the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the Zimbabwe National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group, as well as the Interministerial Taskforce on COVID-19.

Here are the members of that advisory panel.

Dr. Tonderai Mapako

Dr Mapako is executive director at the National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ). He has a Doctorate on risk modelling of transfusion transmissible diseases.

Mr. Tendai Kureya

Kureya is executive secretary of the Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe, which leads and regulates medical research in the country.

Dr. Justen Manasa

A biomedical scientist with interest in viral evolution and drug resistance. He has worked in molecular epidemiology of HIV drug resistance and development of low cost molecular diagnostics. He also heads the University of Zimbabwe’s Innovation Hub

Professor Rudo Makunike-Mutasa

A Professor of Pathology at the University Of Zimbabwe’s College Of Health Sciences, and a founder of the masters in medicine (MMed) training program. She chairs the department of Histopathology, a study of tissues in order to understand diseases.

Dr. Alex Gasasira

Gasasira is the country representative of the World Health Organisation.

Dr. Lincoln Charimari

Head of disease prevention and control at the local office of the WHO. He chaired the Cholera Command and Control Centre during the 2008-2009 cholera outbreak and has worked in West Africa during the Ebola crisis.

Professor Rose Kambarami

She is a paediatrician and a clinical epidemiologist, and is based at the UZ’s College of Health Sciences.

Dr. Gladwin Muchena

A physician with experience in communicable disease control and epidemiology. He has served as Matabeleland South Provincial Epidemiology and Disease Control Officer.

Dr. Samson Shumbairerwa

A member of the UZ Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine. He was in the public limelight in 2014 as lead anaesthesiologist in an operation to separate conjoined twins.

Dr. Wilfred Muteweye

A surgeon based in Harare and a member of the Surgical Society of Zimbabwe, and head of the UFIC Health Department.

Professor Rashida Ferrand

Physician and epidemiologist who heads the Parirenyatwa Hospital COVID-19 centre, as well as the Zimbabwe group of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine research partnership.