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Government committed to quality health care, says Vice President Mohadi

Story by Tamuka Charakupa

VICE President Kembo Mohadi has officially commissioned Runyararo Health Centre in Chimanimani, which is expected to revitalise health care for resettled Cyclone Idai survivors.

Government has committed to continue the health access modernisation drive, with the latest being the commissioning of the US$2.8 million centre.

Commissioning the facility, the Vice President revealed that government has committed over US$17 million towards the construction of fully-equipped modern health facilities across the country.

“The Government has reiterated its commitment for Universal Health Coverage and pledged to accelerate its efforts for achieving it by 2030 through expanding services, increasing resources and improving efficiency. On September 12, 2019, Zimbabwe signed a historic agreement with NMS Infrastructure (Pvt) Ltd, a Britain-based company, for a US$200 million loan facility.

“This loan is dedicated to the construction of 5 × 60-bed District Hospitals and 30 x 22-bed Health Centres. As part of this agreement, Zimbabwe has already invested US$17 400 000 towards the construction of the first eight health facilities. The signing of the loan agreement is expected to be finalized by the end of August 2024, which will unlock the construction of an additional 22 x 22-bedded clinics and 5 × 60-bedded district hospitals. The construction of these health facilities is being carried out in two phases. The first phase focuses on the completion of four Health Centres, including the Runyararo Health Centre in Chimanimani District, Mataga Health Centre in Mberengwa District, Stoneridge Health Centre in Harare South and Cowdry Park Health Centre in Bulawayo,” he said.

Senior government officials said the development is a step forward in the implementation of the National Health Strategy running from 2021 to 2025.

“Since the advent of the Second Republic, my ministry has embarked on an ambitious mission to construct new hospitals, refurbish existing ones, and equip them with state-of-the-art equipment. The Runyararo Health Centre stands as a testimony to this commitment. The centre has been strategically positioned to serve the surrounding catchment area, including Chayamiti Ward 6, Bumba Ward 7, Shinja Ward 9 and Nhedziwa Ward 4, with a total population of 12,973.

“It is our firm belief that this centre will significantly improve access to quality healthcare for the residents of these communities. In line with our commitment to prioritise the health and wellness of our people, the Ministry has launched the National Health Strategy 2021-2025. This comprehensive plan outlines our Government’s deliberate efforts to enhance the health and well-being of the population while ensuring Universal Health Coverage,” said the Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable Douglas Mombeshora.

Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Advocate Misheck Mugadza said, “As Manicaland, we are proud of Runyararo health facility. It is not only a special project to the whole nation but to the communities affected by Cyclone Idai. There is no doubt that it will contribute to improved access to health services in the whole district.

“Manicaland is proud of the developments brought about through Cyclone Idai reconstruction and rehabilitation. A great transformation has been observed through the provision of services. The journey has not been easy and I would like to take this opportunity to call on Treasury for the release of more funds to ensure the completion of remaining Runyararo houses, the construction of a road network, as well as for the establishment of Umvumvumvu Dam which is earmarked to provide permanent water supply to the dry community of Runyararo.”

The development has also excited the local leadership.

“We are grateful to government for this development because it addresses the health gap which was being faced by this community. Post Cyclone Idai, we have witnessed milestone infrastructure development,” said Chimanimani West legislator, Honourable Wilson Maposa.

Traditional leader, Chief Mutambara said, “All along the resettled people were accessing health services at Mutambara Mission Hospital which was a distance. Now they have a modern facility, a school, running water and several projects which testifies that no one is being left behind.”

“We are already enjoying and living in 2030 as per our government’s vision. Our plea is to see the completion of reliable water sources so that we start utilising irrigation facilities,” said Chief Saurombe.

Government has so far commissioned four similar health centres across the country in line with the policy of promoting universal access to health.
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