BY VANESSA GONYE
ZIMBABWE’S health system is suffering from a digital deficiency as the country is yet to advance its e-health strategy, Healthcare minister Obadiah Moyo has said.
He was speaking at a media briefing with digital experts from the United Arab Emirates and Estonia at the recently renamed Harare Central Hospital now known as Sally Mugabe Central Hospital on Wednesday.
The three countries are set to enter into a triangular digitalisation project that will see the overhauling of Zimbabwe’s health system with a pilot project set to be done at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital over the next six months.
Moyo said the development came at an opportune time as the first port of call of the project was yet to be computerised.
“We are very grateful that the team from UAE has come together with some technical partners from Estonia and they are talking of digitalising to make it a fully digitalised hospital. There is a consignment of computers which came the last time we received equipment from the UAE. We want to thank you for bringing in some ICT sanity to Sally Mugabe Central Hospital,” he said.
Moyo said the development was linked to the existing e-health system that had a project currently running in Mashonaland East province.
UAE director of development co-operation department, Rashed Al Hemeiri said they have always supported the country’s health sector with emphasis on digitalisation which has led to their engagement with Estonia, a leading player in e-governance.
“This is a triangular partnership of the three countries. It’s not the machine that will run itself, we have to consider the human element, the staff at the hospitals. They will get the proper education on how to embrace the new system,” he said.
Estonian director for development cooperation and humanitarian aid in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kadi Metsandi, pledged his country’s commitment to the project.
“The two countries are very committed to this project, we met in November in the UAE and we are here in January to work on the ground. We wanted to come in December but were derailed by the holidays,” she said.