Tendai Rupapa in Guangzhou, China
A group of doctors here intend to build a hospital in Zimbabwe specialising in Chinese medicine and a feasibility study for the project will be done at the beginning of next year, renowned Chinese medical practitioner Dr Pan Guanghua revealed yesterday.
The cost of the project could not be immediately established but it is expected to create hundreds of jobs and serve citizens, some of whom were seeking specialised treatment abroad.
This comes as Zimbabwe has struck a deal with a company called Guangzhou Yanhao Trading to buy oxygen generators at a low price, almost half of the market price.
The machines purify air to make oxygen for medical use.
Oxygen is one of the major cost drivers in the health sector and Zimbabwe consumes over 120 tonnes of oxygen worth over $4 million per month.
“The acquisition of such a plant for every hospital will help in reducing Government expenditure. Hospitals are facing varied logistical challenges in bringing gas to their institutions.
“There is also one supplier of medical oxygen. The availability of such specialised equipment will help save the country’s foreign currency,” said Dr Bernard Madzima, a health expert who is part of the Zimbabwe delegation here.
The announcement of the hospital project is a major success for First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, who has taken it upon herself to improve people’s access to good healthcare and medicines.
The First Lady is Zimbabwe’s health ambassador.
Addressing Zimbabwe’s delegation here on Thursday, Dr Guanghua said a Chinese team will be dispatched to Harare soon and implored Government to make land available for the project.
“All over the world, Chinese medicine is the best above the rest. So I have friends and partners who want us to assist Zimbabwe’s health sector and we want to establish a hospital there dealing with Chinese medicine.
“We are ready to go and beginning of next year, we will send a team to conduct a feasibility study. It will be up to the Government of Zimbabwe to allocate us land for the hospital. We also want to create employment as the hospital will train and employ locals.”
Representing the Ministry of Health, Dr Madzima was awestruck by their readiness to help Zimbabwe improve efficiency and service delivery in the health sector.
“Our Chinese counterparts are willing to support the Ministry of Health and Child Care in rejuvenating our Traditional Medicine Programme.
“The ministry has for years been trying to have vibrant traditional medicine programmes to complement our usual Western medicine and our local medicine but have not really succeeded,” he said.
Dr Madzima said there were possibilities of having people trained as the Chinese had indicated that not only were they ready to bring medicines to Zimbabwe but to actually build a hospital.
“So we are ready to engage them. We want to thank the country’s health ambassador, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, who is working hard day and night sourcing resources for the health sector.”
Another potential investor, Mr Shaoyou Ji from Chaoshan University, paid tribute to the friendship between China and Zimbabwe, which he said has a long history, and continues to develop in light of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“The relationship between the two countries lies in people’s mutual affinity, in heart to heart and heart to heart lies in language.
“Language communication is the foundation of national exchanges and cooperation between two countries.
“I believe that in the near future the friends from Zimbabwe will start learning Chinese language. In order to better support foreign friends who want to learn Chinese, Xin Tong Education will fully support those who want to study Chinese through Internet technology.
“The International Youth base project will provide employment and entrepreneurship training in incubation services for young people with entrepreneurial intentions in all the countries along the Belt and Road to enhance the competitiveness and success rate of youth employment in all countries along the way,” he said.
He said it was his hope that Xin Tong Education and the Belt and Road Initiative international youth base project will join hands with the Angel of Hope Foundation.
Mr Shaoyou described the First Lady as an “angel of hope” who has given wings to the hopeless, adding that she was a model of charity.
Mrs Vicky Ruan, the foreign department manager for Guangzhou Tengen Solar Technology said her solar firm also had plans to open a branch in Zimbabwe.
Solar has become a viable alternative for Zimbabwe which is facing electricity generation problems. The country also does not have enough foreign currency to import electricity from its neighbours.
The adoption of solar energy will also reduce the country’s power import bill.
Amai Mnangagwa, at whose invitation the Zimbabwean delegation is here, praised China for standing by Zimbabwe in its time of need.
“I would like to thank the President of China and the entire nation for standing with Zimbabwe in times of need. China and Zimbabwe have a history. Since it’s we are in the new dispensation, Zimbabwe is rebuilding and on its way to recovery.
“We really need partners in the solar business for our industries, hospitals, irrigation and rural communities, to mention just a few. We need your support as we are reviving our manufacturing industry. Your help is needed for the transformation of Zimbabwe.
“I want to emphasise that we need to train our youths in different areas, hence it is important to identify areas where they can be trained in. Those who would have been trained will go back home and impart knowledge to others.”
The First Lady said Zimbabwe needed investment and invited those keen on helping Zimbabwe to do so freely. The Angel of Hope patron is in China at the invitation of Mrs Juliana Elhawary, the director of ChinaBrand International Exposition.