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FAMILIES of medical doctors and other frontline health workers who lost their loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic said they were still struggling to come to terms with the loss of their loved ones.

This was revealed at a medical awards ceremony held in Harare at the weekend to honour living and deceased medical professionals that worked hard to improve the country’s health sector.

In his speech during the awards ceremony, Zimbabwe Medical Awards Trust board chairperson Josephat Chiripanyanga said COVID-19 wounds would take time to heal as the deaths were still troubling families of frontline workers who succumbed to the pandemic since it hit the country in March last year.

He said many nurses and 22 doctors succumbed to the deadly pandemic.

The country has recorded a cumulative total of 4 709 COVID-19 deaths since the emergence of the deadly virus in 2020.

“Families of frontline health workers are still nursing wounds after losing their loved ones to COVID-19. It was difficult to convince the families of doctors who died, whom we want to honour to attend the awards ceremony,” Chiripanyanga said.

“Relatives of our COVID-19 heroes are still in grief and they are not opening up that much. That is why most of them could not come because they are saying the awards are opening their wounds,” he said.

The event also gave recognition to living heroes in the medical profession, among them decorated eye specialist, Solomon Guramatunhu and leading paediatrician Bothwell Mbuwayesango who were part of the surgeons who separated Siamese twins at Sally Mugabe Hospital.

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