By Marvellous Matswimbo
The Covid-19 pandemic hit hard on women in Ngozi Mine, a squatter camp located in one of Bulawayo’s biggest garbage dumping site.
The era has been characterized by the spread of rumors and misinformation regarding the covid-19 vaccine and women’s sexual reproductive health.
Due to the spread of these rumors and misinformation at Ngozi mine, many women became sceptical about getting vaccinated.
Judith Mpofu said most momen in Ngozi Mine lacked information on what the vaccine was all about, hence the refusal to get vaccinate.
“Most women here do not know what the vaccine is all about, some went to get the first and the second doses but are sceptical about the booster dose because according to the rumors that we had, it will be the end of their lives” said Mpofu
She added: “I think if they are made to understand the main purpose of the vaccine and if it’s a good or a bad thing, they will make informed decisions. So what is lacking here is information.”
Nogate Mpofu said she couldn’t get the second and the third doses of the vaccine because she fell sick after getting the first dose.
“We heard a rumor that people with chronic illnesses were not supposed to get vaccinated but l went on to get the first jab and l fell sick because l already have BP. I started believing that rumors were true because l had experienced the side effects”, said Mpofu
“I also heard that the vaccine is not good for breastfeeding women because it dries the milk and sometimes kill the baby who feeds on the milk”, she added.
Agness Shonai highlighted that, some of the rumors that were circulating were that the vaccine causes still birth to pregnant women.
“I was afraid of getting vaccinated because l heard that, the vaccine causes still birth to pregnant women and l was pregnant at that time”, said Shonai
“l believed it, because l know someone who here at Ngozi Mine who had a miscarriage after getting vaccinated”, she added
Sizalobuhle Ncube. A community health liaison expert helped in clearing misinformation about the vaccine amongst women.
“The vaccine just like any other medication or vaccine might have side effects but it doesn’t make it unsafe in anyway, it was medically proven that’s why the government allowed it to be rolled out to people”, said Ncube.
Ncube emphasized the need for the women to realise that they would respond differently to the medication just like any other prescriptions as we are all different. She urged the women to take precaution and get vaccinated as COVID-19 had not be totally eradicated in Zimbabwe or globally.