Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Health Reporter
FOUR central hospitals including Mpilo and United Bulawayo Hospitals are set to receive state-of-the-art equipment including intensive care unit (ICU) monitors and emergency ventilators to help fight Covid-19 courtesy of the Japanese government.
Japan yesterday donated US$ 3,8 million for the procurement of hospital and medical equipment for Covid -19 response support.
Part of the donation will also help equip eight provincial hospitals which include Gwanda, Gweru, Kadoma and Marondera.
In a statement, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said the equipment that includes multi-channel electrocardiographs, an anesthesia workstation, artificial resuscitators, Automated External Defibrillator (AEDs), and portable vein finders will also see Bindura, Chinhoyi and Mutare provincial hospitals benefitting.
“Through the Exchange of Notes we are signing today, the Government of Japan will be supporting the Government in equipping four Central and eight provincial hospitals with the state-of-the-art medical equipment.
“The equipment will include bedside Intensive Care Unit (ICU) monitors, an ultrasound scope, operation and examination equipment, a portable X-ray system, bedside Coronary Care Unit (CCU) monitors and emergency ventilators,” he said.
Prof Ncube said the pandemic which has killed 237 people in Zimbabwe and infected 8 276 has placed unprecedented pressure on economic activities.
“The equipment will be distributed to the following hospitals: Parirenyatwa, Sally Mugabe, Mpilo and United Bulawayo Hospitals. Provincial hospitals that will benefit from the donation include Bindura, Chinhoyi, Gwanda, Gweru, Kadoma, Marondera, Masvingo and Mutare,” he said.
“The pandemic has impacted negatively on the livelihoods of vulnerable people, women, youths, the informal in both urban and rural areas. The support from the Government of Japan will assist in assuring a healthy nation that can withstand the effects of the Covid -19 pandemic.”
He said the intervention by Japan is in line with the national priorities as stated in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.
“The project also assists in achieving Social Development Goal (SDG) number 3, which focuses on good health care and well-being.
“I would like also to note that the Government has received grants and technical assistance from the Japanese Government over the years, to support areas such as construction, as well as, rehabilitation of the bridge across the Zambezi River at Chirundu, construction of classroom blocks across the country and supply of various items of road construction equipment. This has greatly assisted in the development of our infrastructure,” said Prof Ncube.
Although the country is still under a Covid-19 lockdown imposed in March, most sectors of the economy have been reopened.
Zimbabwe requires people arriving into the country to produce a negative PCR result conducted within 48 hours prior to travel and those showing symptoms of Covid-19 are tested at the airport at a cost of US$60.
The country’s land borders, however remain closed to members of the public except for commercial business, until further notice.
It has been noted that while in the past, most of the positive cases were imported, there are now more local infections within communities. — @thamamoe