Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, who is Zimbabwe’s health ambassador, yesterday officially unveiled the Orthopaedic and Maxillofacial Ward A1 at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital in Harare and handed over hospital equipment she sourced through her Angel of Hope Foundation.
Amai Mnangagwa sourced the equipment from the foundation’s partners, Matter, a US-based Non-Governmental Organisation as part of efforts to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic.
The hospital equipment includes fusion pumps, patient monitors, oxygen and humidifiers, microscope, manual platform scales, wheel chairs, hospital bed mattresses, anaesthesia machine, metric sitting scales, mixed medical supplies worth thousands of dollars.
The equipment was handed over to Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro, who received the equipment on behalf of Vice President Dr Costantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care.
The state-of-the-art 42-bed Orthopaedic and Maxillofacial Ward A1 was refurbished through the collaboration of two State-owned telecommunications companies, NetOne and TelOne, as part of their social responsibility.
The ward is now equipped with Intensive Care Unit (ICU) standards beds, patient monitors, new curtains, and oxygen machines, among others.
Speaking at the function, the First Lady said there was need for collaborative efforts to rebuild and capacitate health facilities countrywide.
“Let me commend the two State institutions, TelOne and NetOne, for coming up with this exemplary initiative. This is certainly the way to go if indeed we want to achieve more and get our health system back on track,” she said.
“Specifically, the intervention we have witnessed here today is timely and most critical at this point for the Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, which is the biggest referral hospital in the country with a bed capacity of 1 186.
“As we know, many of our vulnerable people are cared for at this hospital. It therefore becomes imperative that we focus on ensuring that the facility is capacitated, especially as a way to create a safety net for our people.”
TelOne and NetOne drilled three boreholes at the hospital, two at Mpilo Central Hospital and one at Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital.
“I also take note and indeed I am pleased with the wider scope of the project at hand. We have seen the ward refurbishment, the boreholes and the equipment right before us. I have also been made aware of a prior donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) done in May for the health workers and these donations were valued at $10 million.
“This is what happens when individuals and organisations come together with a noble intention. The results show that indeed we are stronger together,” she said.
She implored other corporates and donors to consider structuring their corporate social responsibility to deliberately target improving public hospitals as access to health was a core indicator of development in any country.
“The call is even urgent now more than ever in view of the Covid-19 global pandemic. While faced with this, we also have other diseases such as cancer, malaria, HIV and AIDS which remain alive and demanding management by the same hospitals. Maternal and paediatric health radar. It is therefore delighting to note the ward refurbishment and borehole drilling initiatives will live beyond the challenges of the moment,” said Amai Mnangagwa.
The Angel of Hope Foundation patron thanked the foundation’s partners for the assistance and commended TelOne for assisting in bringing the equipment.
“Besides the amazing work done by TelOne and NetOne, we are also witnessing the handing over of hospital equipment worth US$348 000 which was sourced from Angel of Hope partners, a USA based NGO called Matter. Again, I most sincerely appreciated the shipping and logistics support of US$20 400 provided by TelOne, which made it possible for the equipment to be delivered,” she added.
Angel of Hope has a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Matter, which covers provision of equipment to public health facilities in Zimbabwe, urban and rural, sustainable nutrition and agriculture and access to ICT-based education through innovation hubs.
She said the MoU has so far benefited Lukosi, Victoria Falls and Hwange hospitals through the refurbishment, provision of a theatre hub equipment and nutrition plots with agriculture equipment.
Some of the beneficiaries are Victoria Falls Primary School and Takashinga Primary School in Hatcliffe, through the establishment of innovation hubs.
She also applauded the efforts made by Love for Africa Foundation for providing logistics for shipments from the US and the construction of buildings required to house equipment at schools and ancillary facilities.
“In our work with Matter, I also acknowledge the Love for Africa Foundation in Zimbabwe who were instrumental in bringing us together. Love for Africa Foundation have been partners in providing logistics for shipments from the USA and the construction of buildings required to house equipment at schools and ancillary facilities.
“It is evident that the work by Matter cannot be done by themselves, but it requires partners who can collaborate and assist in bringing the much needed assistance for the country,” said Amai Mnangagwa.
However, she said Matter representatives failed to grace the occasion due to travel restrictions due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The First Lady received a solidarity message from Matter president, Mr Quenton Marty, who was delighted to hear that the container of the medical goods arrived safely and would be put to good use to serve the people.
She challenged other corporates to come on board to partner Matter in bringing more containers with the much needed medical goods.
She said the Sally Mugabe Central Hospital management should take care of the equipment and infrastructure to make their work easier.
VP Chiwenga, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Mangwiro, expressed gratitude over the role played by the corporate world for supporting Government efforts against Covid-19.
“This orthopaedic ward now has a fully functional admission area that can accommodate 42 patients in awesome surroundings ideal for healing and recovery.
“In line with our vision that is to have the highest possible level of health and quality of life for all citizens, we hope to take this thrust on a nationwide scale to all provincial, districts and rural hospitals and ensure full capacitation of our health facilities,” said VP Chiwenga.
Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere, said during a national crisis, it becomes imperative for corporates to assist the Government by mobilising resources towards the mitigation and containment of the crisis, as part of corporate social investment.
“As the ICT sector, we have a critical role as a key enabler that supports all other economic activities across all sectors,” said Dr Muswere.
TelOne managing director, Mrs Chipo Mtasa said TelOne had been making efforts to reach the different strata of society.
NetOne acting CEO, Mrs Chipo Jaisson, said they were committed to partner other players to transform the health sector.