Mukudzei Chingwere recently in Bulawayo
Efforts in refurbishing and upgrading health facilities are gathering pace across the country, with President Mnangagwa expected to officially open Ekusileni Medical Centre next month, starting with the Covid-19 treatment and isolation centre, in the proposed phased commencement of operations at the facility.
The medical institution is being prepared to start taking patients, and Government has seconded health staff to augment infrastructural developments supported by Treasury as well as donations of equipment to expedite its resumption of operations.
This follows Government’s declaration of the pandemic as a state of disaster from the outset, resulting in improved Treasury resource allocation for the health sector as well as marshalling the private sector to come on board.
Speaking during yesterday’s post-Cabinet briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Government efforts in refurbishing and upgrading health facilities were beginning to yield the desired results.
“Government is pleased to announce that Ekusileni Medical Centre has been fully refurbished and will soon be officially opened. Thorngrove Hospital was refurbished and upgraded to a 28-bed fully-equipped Covid-19 isolation centre and is admitting Covid-19 patients,” she said.
“The first-ever free orthopaedic paediatric hospital and Covid-19 isolation centre based at United Bulawayo Hospitals is also set to be soon officially opened.
“The hospital will attend to children with various orthopaedic conditions, including those with congenital deformities from all over the country.”
Recently, the Ministry of Health and Child Care indicated that President Mnangagwa would officially open the United Bulawayo Hospitals and Ekusileni’s Covid-19 centres as well as the children orthopaedic hospital, which is expected to be treating children up to 18 for free.
“The UBH’s Covid-19 isolation and treatment centre, Bulawayo Orthopaedic Hospital and Ekusileni Hospital isolation centre are doing their preparations to be officially opened by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency, Cde ED Mnangagwa in May this year,” said the Health ministry on Twitter.
Ekusileni chief nursing officer, Sister Bekezela Ndubiwa, told The Herald last week that under the first phase, they will start by admitting up to 15 Covid-19 patients.
“We are almost ready, if we get equipment we are waiting for, we can open anytime from now.
“We are just waiting for equipment to start operating, we will start by admitting 15 patients and we will take it from there,” she said.
Sister Ndubiwa said they were awaiting a few operational equipment for basic healthcare like thermometers, among others.
She said the human resources, oxygen points, bedding equipment, laundry facilities and kitchen, were all in place.
“We have received 24 nurses, human resources assistant, instrument technician, and some from kitchen staff, all from Government,” she said.
Most of the administration staff at the medical institution are secondments from the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).
Zimbabwe’s first and only the third in the region — Charitable Paediatric Orthopaedic Hospital — is now ready for the official opening after conducting two successful maiden surgeries last week.
Executive director of the hospital, Mr Jonathan Simpson, said: “We are partnering with the Ministry of Health and Child Care. We are also involved in training and we want to make this hospital a centre of excellence.”
UBH operations director Mr Richard Sithole said it was all systems go for the opening of their Covid-19 treatment and isolation centre.