A group of Zimbabwean health experts based in the United Kingdom (UK) have combined forces with the Catholic University of Zimbabwe (CUZ) to develop a Medical School and Teaching Hospital and a pharmaceutical plant at the institution.
The investment, which is estimated to cost US$450 million, is being set up within the medical enterprise economic zone, and is anchored around academic medical teaching, research and highly-specialised clinical services.
In an interview, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the UK, Colonel Christian Katsande (Retired) said Professor Ian Chikanza, a Zimbabwean consultant physician in Rheumatology (Adult and Paediatric) based in the UK, was working with CUZ, as part of luring investors to the country.
Ambassador Katsande said the initiative was envisaged to strengthen the health care system in Zimbabwe, putting the country at the frontier of medicine and making Harare a leading centre of medical excellence in Africa.
“This facility is also expected to lead in the drug development and production as well as supply of the much-needed generic drugs in Zimbabwe and SADC member states,” he said.
“This state-of-the-art teaching hospital is expected to provide highly-specialised medical services and attract medical tourism.”
A pharmaceutical company will also be established to ensure that all drugs are available for the medical centre and other hospitals in Zimbabwe and the region.
“The funding for the project is being pursued,” said Ambassador Katsande. The entire investment is estimated to cost US$450 million.”
The project will include a US$120 million 200-bed hotel for medical visitors/tourists to be built not too far from the hospital site.
GE Healthcare will provide the majority of the latest state-of-the-art medical equipment.
The hospital will be paperless and will use the latest Electronic Health Records system being developed by a team set up by Prof Chikanza.
The Embassy is also engaging Zimbabwean professionals in the UK health sector to set up the Zimbabwe-UK Health Alliance.
“The Alliance is envisaged to be an umbrella organisation for UK institutions and organisations undertaking healthcare capacity building activities in Zimbabwe,” said Ambassador Katsande.
“It is expected to be a mechanism to support and better coordinate its member organisations and ensure that their activities are in sync with the priorities of the Zimbabwe Government.”
The main objective of the Health Alliance is to support health care and the public sector in Zimbabwe.
It will focus on identification and evaluation of health challenges in Zimbabwe and provide innovative interventions drawn from the expertise, experience and skill sets of its members and partners.
The Zimbabwe-UK Health Alliance is also expected to provide a platform to explore opportunities for learning and development for health workers and institutions in both Zimbabwe and the UK, improve coordination among UK organisations’ activities and contributions to the health sector in Zimbabwe, facilitate training and exchanges of knowledge and expertise, and coordinate outreach programmes and volunteering activities by diaspora health practitioners.