Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Senior Reporter
BUSINESSES operating in Manicaland have heeded Government’s call to join hands and assist in the repair of the Mutare Provincial Hospital ahead of the visit by 21 specialist surgeons from India next week.
The repairs will enable the provincial referral institution to cater for the large number of patients expected during the mission.
The specialist surgeons from India will be in Mutare to offer free surgical services to patients with various ailments.
The VTT medical mission is a Rotary International project put together by three clubs — the Rotary Club of Chitungwiza, Rotary Club of Chandigarh (India) and Rotary Club of Mutare.
The Indian team will be complemented by 12 local specialists and other volunteers until the end of their mission on March 6.
Their last mission in Mutare was in 2015 when they carried out more than 1 100 surgical operations against a target of 800.
However, the hospital, like all other provincial and central hospitals in the country, has been facing a number challenges that include obsolete equipment, as well as shortages of staff and drugs.
With the arrival of the mission drawing closer, pressure is mounting on the hospital to work beyond its budget to cater for thousands of patients expected from the provinces’ seven districts and beyond.
As a result, a stakeholders committee that includes representatives from the offices of the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, provincial development coordinator (PDC), provincial medical director (PMD), hospital superintendent and local companies had been formed to conduct a needs assessment at the institution.
Rotary International local coordinator Mr Job Torindo said the decision to engage stakeholders followed gaps noted during and after the last mission.
“After the 2015 mission, we noted some
shortcomings that need to be addressed before the team arrives for this mission. What needs to be done falls outside the Rotary grant that is catering for the Indian specialists’ welfare, their stay as well as certain drugs and instruments they will bring with them,” he said.
There is need to repair of one of the two non-functional elevators at the hospital since the theatre is on the first floor.
The hospital wards are on ground floor.
The intensive care unit (ICU) at the provincial hospital has not been functioning because the ventilator was not working. There is also need to repair one autoclaving machine out of the five at the hospital.
Other needs include the transportation of theatre lights from various district hospitals to enable the institution to improvise and come up with at least five theatres.
The hospital currently has one functioning theatre.
Companies like NOIC, Tanganda Tea Company, Mutare Bottling Company, Wattle Company, PetroZim Line and Holiday Inn, among others, have pledged to pool resources for the repair of the elevator, autoclave machine and procurement of various drugs that are in short supply and cater for the welfare of the team during their stay.
Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba said for the mission to be successful, the referral hospital should not be found wanting.
“There are critical issues that need to be attended before the Indian team arrives to avoid being caught on the back foot. We need to hold our end of the bargain and at least provide the basic requirements for the specialists to perform surgical operations.
“This is a sacrifice that we all need to make for the good of our province and good image of our country,” she added.
Acting PMD Dr Admire Maravanyike said without outside help, the ministry would not be able to properly equip the provincial hospital (pictured below)ahead of the mission’s arrival.