Rutendo Rori Herald Correspondent
The Japanese Embassy has granted $88 727 to a non-governmental organisation, Wild4life, to improve facilities for medical services, maternal and child health in Hwange District.
The contracts for the grant were signed on Thursday by Japanese ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Yoshi Tendai Hiraishi and the Director of Wild4life, Mr Alfred Chingono, at the Japanese Embassy in Harare.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr Hiraishi said the grant would be used to improve health services at two health centres in Hwange District, Lukosi Rural Hospital and Milonga Clinic.
“Lukosi Rural Hospital will receive significant improvements, including the renovation of main hospital wards, equipping of a borehole and the construction of a toilet block as well as a maternal waiting home,” said Mr Hiraishi.
“Another maternal waiting home will be constructed at Milonga Clinic, which is the only clinic without such structure in the district.”
Mr Hiraishi said Japan was concerned at the poor medical environment at the two hospitals.
“Although Lukosi Rural Hospital has been a very important public health institution around the area, especially for people who cannot bear service fees, its medical environment is far from appropriate due to the deterioration of existing facilities and lack of safe water,” he said.
Mr Hiraishi said Lukosi Hospital was also failing to meet expectant mothers’ needs because of the insufficient capacity of maternity waiting homes.
“Expecting mothers who live around Milonga Clinic have had to walk long distances to shelters at other health institutions. This project will, therefore, greatly improve health services and environment in the district,” Mr Hiraishi said.
Mr Chingono said the donation from the people of Japan had come at the appropriate time as they were planning to expand medical services in the district.
“The grant is going to be used diligently to improve medical facilities in Hwange and our aim is to ensure that more people have access to it,” said Mr Chingono.
The Japanese Embassy also supported St Patrick’s Mission Hospital in Hwange District for the construction of a rehabilitation centre last year.