Zim speeds up medical training President Mnangagwa unveils a plaque during the official opening of the Simon Mazorodze School of Medical and Health Sciences in Masvingo yesterday. — Picture: Innocent Makawa

Fungi Kwaramba in Masvingo

ZIMBABWE is expediting the training of specialist health personnel to produce a critical mass attuned to the needs of the people while at the same time sustaining the country’s development momentum that has seen transformative projects being implemented timeously, President Mnangagwa has said.

Speaking at the official opening of the game-changing Simon Mazorodze School of Medical and Health Sciences in Masvingo yesterday, the President said Zimbabweans should provide home-grown solutions to any challenges that they may face, while its scientists embrace traditional medicine through research that will always be funded by his administration.

This is the thrust of the Second Republic’s Education 5.0 model which focuses more on problem-solving through innovation—that is important during the fourth revolution and will accelerate Zimbabwe’s industrialization and modernization thrust.

The Simon Mazorodze School of Medical and Health Science is yet another bold statement, where institutions of higher learning respond to President Mnangagwa’s  “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo” and development that leaves no one and no place behind as espoused in devolution which gives power to communities.

The Simon Mazorodze School of Medical and Health Sciences in Masvingo

The Medical School, named after veteran nationalist, the late Dr Simon Mazorodze, also embodies the country’s indomitable spirit that has triumphed even against adversities such as illegal economic sanctions, climate change, and global conflicts.

It also resonates with President Mnangagwa’s determination to deliver quality and affordable health services, as envisaged in the National Development Strategy.

“As you may recall, it was only last year when we gathered here to lay the foundation stone for this facility. True to my Administration’s work culture and pledge to completing projects within set timelines, this facility is duly complete”.

Just last year the President officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony of the medical facility that is now ready to enrol its first bunch of students, focusing on biotechnology and other medical and health services branches.

“The leadership, guidance and support rendered towards the successful completion of this project by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, in line with the Whole of Government and Society Approach is equally applauded. Going forward, the record successes realised in this and other sectors of the economy make it incumbent upon the entire Government system to sustain such momentum.

“The Second Republic, under my leadership, is embarking on numerous projects, including building, re-orienting and aligning the country’s health system towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage,” the President said

Zimbabwe is pursuing Vision 2030, to become an upper middle-class economy and infrastructure as the one availed yesterday are unflinching statements of intent.

“Guided by our national vision 2030, the University is exhorted to hit the ground running and ensure the training of specialised medical professionals in the shortest time possible.

President Mnangagwa listens to executive dean Professor Jacob Mafunda (right) explaining some of the equipment at the newly opened Simon Mazorodze School of Medical and Health Sciences in Masvingo yesterday. — Picture: Innocent Makawa

“The vision of Great Zimbabwe University, of becoming an exceptional Pan-African University, which champions heritage-based scholarship, must propel this institution to churn out ‘natural’ caregivers, as well as patriotic and hard-working health professionals well-grounded on the ethos of ubuntu/hunhu”.

President Mnangagwa, who had earlier officiated at the 16th congregation of the Greater Zimbabwe where he capped graduates, called upon universities to nurture a culture of collaborative research, innovation and partnership.

The President, who was accompanied by Vice President Chiwenga, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Professor  Amon Murwira, said the new school must embody the qualities of the late Dr Mazorodze.

“The legacy of the late Dr Simon Mazorodze epitomised by sacrifice and love for one’s country must be immortalised and memorialised at this institution.

“Meanwhile, I am enthused that, in line with the Heritage Based Education 5.0 philosophy, the Medical and Health Sciences School will carry out specialised research, development and innovation in traditional medicines.

This critical mandate must ride on the immense potential and heritage knowledge system of our natural and indigenous remedies.

“Similarly, the University is encouraged to pursue the design and development of affordable and effective traditional products, among other medical devices, accessories and consumables towards complementing our Import Substitution Strategy. 

The lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic and the global supply chain disruptions have inspired our nation to be innovative, and to build on our own capabilities for self-reliance.

“In light of this, we must continue to shift wars developing internal models in the health sector to help us effectively respond to our unique experiences, realities and local context.

There is need for more homegrown solutions to disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies.

In this regard, the focus of the Simon Mazorodze School of Medicine and Health Sciences, particularly on health research and innovation, must result in the development of scientific solutions to combat overlooked diseases and endemics”.

The construction of the school was wholly funded by the Government of Zimbabwe and completed timeously, in what is defining President Mnangagwa’s term as opposed to leaving projects in limbo.

Creating the critical mass attuned to respond to the needs and expectations of the people particularly in the medical sector, that according to a skills audit have a major deficit.

In an interview Ambuya  Mazorodze, the wife of the late Dr Mazorodze saluted the President for honouring her husband who died in 1981 and is buried at the National Heroes Acre for his contribution to the freedom of Zimbabwe.

“We really appreciate this gesture, it is one of thing that had not happened in this country and we are truly honoured by this gesture from President Mnangagwa, he was an outstanding people, he worked with the people, loved the people, accepted the people and they also loved him,”  said the Ambuya Mazorodze.

Her son Farai also thanked President Mnangagwa for honouring his father.

“It was a deserving honour, this is what he stood for and I hope this institution will rise to the occasion to the ideals and beliefs he stood for, he was a master administrator, an astute man, always focused on producing results for the betterment of the people”.

Meanwhile, earlier it was all pomp and fanfare as President Mnangagwa distinctions and award winners in the master’s and undergraduate degree programmes at the Great Zimbabwe University’s 16th Graduation.

President Mnangagwa congratulates the overall best student, Ruvarashe Mutadza, during the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) graduation ceremony in Masvingo yesterday. — Picture: Innocent Makakwa

More than 60 percent of the graduates were women in a testimony of President Mnangagwa push for the elevation of the girl child.

“I am so excited that I have graduated, I hope with the skills gained I will be able to create employment for others and not simply look for employment, that is what we have been taught, to be entreprenuers,” said Memory Sibanda.

Graduands celebrate during the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) graduation ceremony in Masvingo yesterday

Another student, who only identified herself as Mr Shoko said he is now aiming to get masters degree.

“I believe with education the sky is the limit and I would like to further my studies so that I can play my part in the development of the country as an academic,” he said.

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