Sakunda Holdings will inject US$2,7 million towards the refurbishment of two hospitals as part of private sector initiatives to support Government efforts in fighting Covid-19.
The two medical facilities — Rock Foundation Medical Centre and St Annes’ — both in Harare, will be equipped with modern equipment to render them useful after lying idle for years.
This comes at a time when Zimbabwe recorded its first Covid-19 death on Monday following the death of Zororo Makamba.
The first consignment of the equipment, part of which was sourced from China, is arriving in the country today.
It is understood that the last batch of the equipment will arrive on April 6, after which modalities for opening the facilities would be worked out.
Sakunda Holdings wants the two hospitals to be used for Covid-19 response by all Zimbabweans, and Government has since given the hospitals the green light to do preparatory work, while awaiting licensing from the relevant authorities.
Among the equipment Sakunda Holdings is bringing into the country are 100 ventilators, 10 000 rapid test kits, 10 000 disposal protective gowns, 20 000 medical masks, 10 000 disposable shoe covers, 100 infra-red thermometers, 5 000 respirator N95 masks and 2 000 hand sanitisers, among other paraphernalia required to fight Covid-19.
In a letter to St Anne’s Hospital manager dated March 24, 2020, Health and Child Care Secretary Dr Agnes Mahomva said: “Thank you for inviting us following our request to utilise the facility for management of Covid-19 cases. The team was satisfied with what they saw during the tour and would like to finalise our request.
“Please note that we have since identified Sakunda Holdings to be our partners to work with us and yourselves to do all the remaining renovations and refurbishments necessary for the hospital to function in the shortest possible period of time.
“Sakunda Holdings has confirmed that they have the resources and funding to do the work and hence refurbishments will not be at your costs.”
Correspondence by Sakunda Holdings on March 25, 2020, showed that
they had already applied for the relevant licensing and pleaded with Dr Mahomva to assist in expediting the process.
“The Government of Zimbabwe has implemented a raft of measures to curb and control outbreak of the disease albeit under tough economic circumstances,” wrote Mr Everton Mlalazi of Sakunda to Dr Mahomva.
“It is against this background that Sakunda Holdings and its associates have come up with a private initiative to complement Government efforts to curb this pandemic specifically in provision of health facilities, equipment, training and vaccines.
“Sakunda has identified Rock Foundation Medical Centre as a facility in the fight against Covid-19. The hospital management will send applications to relevant bodies, but our request from you is to assist in engaging these bodies to expedite the process in view of the urgency required to deal with the pandemic.”