By Tafara Chikumira
VICE President, Ce Kembo Mohadi has commissioned the COVID-19 intensive care unit at Gweru General Hospital as the government steps up efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic in the country.
The state of the art COVID-19 escalation centre houses 33 beds 14 of which are for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), while 19 are for the High Dependency Unit (HDU).
In addition, the facility has a theatre room for operations and is fitted with modern respiratory equipment.
Commissioning the escalated care unit this Thursday, Vice President, Cde Kembo Mohadi thanked the corporate world for assisting the government in ensuring that Zimbabwe attains an upper-middle-income economy by 2030.
“Whilst we appear somewhat under siege from the contrived negativity by our spirited detractors, it is such beautiful milestones such as we are witnessing today that should encourage us that Zimbabwe is indeed in the right direction. It is disheartening to note that we as Zimbabweans have failed to generate progressive attention around our successes. We have failed to celebrate the positive outcomes of our efforts such as the current effort to improve our health delivery system.”
Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, senator Larry Mavima said the commissioning of the institution comes at a time when the region is facing a serious threat from the spread of the pandemic.
“The pandemic continues to cause mayhem in our Midlands community. As of to date the total infected in Midlands stands at 516 while six have succumbed to the pandemic. The rate of local transmission has increased significantly. Your coming guest of honour is a culmination of distinguished key players particularly Unki and other cooperating partners and the department of public works who worked tirelessly to make this isolation centre a reality.”
The construction and upgrading of the multimillion-dollar facility was made possible through a 10 million Rand donation from Unki mine and four comma five million Zimbabwean dollars from devolution funds.
Meanwhile, the government has recommended the upgrading of Gweru General Hospital to central hospital status following several success stories registered at the institution.
The latest development comes as the Midlands referral centre has commissioned a multimillion-dollar COVID-19 intensive care unit.
The hospital in conjunction with staff at Midlands State University medical school is credited for overseeing the first known operation on a COVID-19 positive pregnant patient in the country.
In his presentation during the commissioning of the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit, Chief Director curative services in the Ministry of Health and child care, Dr Maxwell Hove commended the institution for the huge strides.
“I’m proud of Gweru Provincial Hospital because the hospital continues to make one progress after the other. I’m really glad to inform you that in partnership with MSU, this becomes the first provincial hospital to train medical students. We have had the first renal unit established at a provincial hospital here. We have 10 specialists at this provincial hospital by far the largest of all provincial hospital in the country. I propose that the status of this hospital be upgraded to a Central hospital due to its progress.”
Unki mine board Chairman, Mr James Maphosa whose company was instrumental in upgrading infrastructure at the hospital pledged more support through their corporate social responsibility programmes.
“Our programmes speak to reimagining mines. We are responding to the government’s request to assist in these trying times. The health of our employees is paramount. We are facing a global threat to humanity. I am glad to announce that we now have a lab where we are testing our employees and the community around us. I would like to thank the government for allowing us to open for business soon after the announcement of the national lockdown as this has helped us to keep our heads above water.”
The platinum mining giant has since partnered Shurugwi in upgrading the district hospital.