COVID-19: Health, Child Care Parliamentary Portfolio Committee assesses Byo health facilities

By ZBC Reporter

THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on health and child care has commended efforts by authorities to maintain hygiene standards in the wake of the spreading global COVID-19 pandemic.

This came out when the portfolio committee toured major health facilities in Bulawayo and the port health at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport this Friday.

In the wake of recent developments in the neighboring South Africa where COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the parliamentary portfolio committee on health and child care toured Bulawayo health facilities to assess the state of preparedness in handling the pandemic.

Their first port of call was Ingutsheni Psychiatric Hospital, where the committee’s chairperson Honourable Dr Ruth Labode highlighted the need for government to continue supporting the country’s psychiatric referral centre.

“We were impressed to see that Ingutsheni is well maintained. The staff is using all they have to keep the facility in shape, they are undertaking a number of projects in the farm. We however noted that they critically need more human resources like psychiatrists,” Dr Labode said.

The committee then proceeded to Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport to assess the screening process for travelers as the country remains vigilant against the pandemic.

“We are assured that the screening process at the port health will keep the deadly virus at bay. However, only the one ambulance that has been availed for such emergencies for both the airport and the city is not enough. We recommend that more resources be channeled to enhance the capacity of the city as a whole to combat the pandemic,” Dr Labode added.

To improve on Bulawayo’s capacity to handle a potential outbreak of the corona virus, the government is also considering utilising Ekusileni Hospital as a referral isolation centre for the second largest city in the country.