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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Health services go notch higher as government distributes air ambulances

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has started distributing the recently procured air ambulances to central hospitals as the Second Republic continues to strengthen health care provision.

Cognisant of the importance of time in any medical emergency situation where every second counts for a patient to survive, the government has beefed up the ambulance fleet with 12 helicopters.

Clinicians from different departments involved in emergency response services from Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and Sally Mugabe Central Hospital this Tuesday took time to familiarise themselves with the new helicopters.

Prirenyatwa Group of Hospitals’ Head of Division Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Dr Musvo Mapfanyangira said, “This is going to improve our service delivery for critically ill patients as well as patients involved in road traffic accidents. We normally transfer our patients using ground ambulances, but looking at situations like transferring a patient from Sally Mugabe to Pari during rush hour would take longer, but now the coming in of the air ambulances will cut on time.”

Dr Maximilian Dzowa, the hospital’s Head of Division Department of Surgery and Anaesthesia noted, “I deal with the brain and now in medicine time is important especially when we are talking about the brain. It’s very sensitive to delays in getting care. The sooner you get help for the brain, the better your outcome. You don’t grow any more brain whatever you have injured is injured and gone for good.

Head of Department Accident and Emergency, Dr Tapiwa Nyakudya, said,

“We support countries with medical helicopters like intensive care units, but on air, but usually, we work in different scenarios to provide help for different patients from newborns to adults,” said ROSTEH Air Ambulance Deputy of Medical Directory, Dr Evgeni Kibakin.

Chief Director Curative Services in The Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Maxwell Hove, who was standing in for the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Air Commodore Jasper Chimedza, said rapid response is high on the agenda.

“In total, we have 12 of these air ambulances. We are going to create bases for them throughout the country so that the entire country is well covered. The main thrust is to ensure that the time factor is taken care of in the management of patients,” Dr Hove told the ZBC News.

The helicopters are part of government’s public-private partnership with the Russian Federation and their procurement comes at a time the Second Republic is modernising critical services expressed in rapid infrastructure development towards the envisaged upper middle-income society by 2030.

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