Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Senior Reporter
MUTARE City Council has received $2,9 million to equip the Mutare Infectious Disease Hospital (MIDH) Intensive Care Unit once its renovation is complete, The Manica Post has established.
Mutare city health services director, Dr Antony Mutara said Government has released $1,4 million for the project, while council has availed $1,5 million for the refurbishment of the MIDH wing.
Rehabilitation works commenced last week after businesses operating under the auspices of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries pooled $1,6 million for the structural works.
While work is still being done, the local authority has already started sourcing equipment for the isolation wing to ensure that it becomes functional as soon as possible. CZI is also mobilising more resources to equip the isolation centre.
Said Dr Mutara: “We are still working on the structural features of the wing, but we have already started procurement of equipment that needs to be put inside the facility. We have received financial resources from Government and Mutare City in the last few days. A total of $1,5 million came from Mutare City, while $1,4 million came from the Ministry of Health and Child Care. This is going towards the procurement of equipment,” he said.
However, he said procurement is being slowed down by the ongoing lockdown as most shops are closed.
“We are applying to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to allow some particular shops to open for this purpose,” he revealed.
Mutare Town Clerk Mr Joshua Maligwa is on record saying a total of US$1,4 million is required to renovate and fully equip the MIDH.
CZI Manicaland president, Mrs Victoria Jakazi said mobilisation efforts will continue until the MIDH is well equipped to handle any Covid-19 cases that might be recorded in the province.
So far, Manicaland is yet to record any case of the virus.
“Most of the CZI members have come on board and they have done significantly well. We are still chasing up some of the companies in the commercial sector. Some SMEs are also able to contribute and they are welcome to do so.
“Refurbishment is still going on and we are hopeful that within another week or so, everything will be done.
“From there, we are going to be looking at equipping the isolation hospital — beds, linen, consumables, PPE for staff. We need to raise US$100 00 to equip the hospital, so we are appealing far and wide,” she said.
MIDH is the main isolation centre for Manicaland province, but plans are underway to establish at least 12 more isolation facilities across the province.
The Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital has already established a four-bed isolation centre where patients who present to the institution with Covid-19 symptoms are tested and treated.
In an interview with The Manica Post, Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba acknowledged that the greatest challenge in fighting Covid-19 is on funding.
“While we have taken all the necessary measures to ensure that Covid-19 virus does not spread, resources and equipment are still a challenge. In some instances, our health personnel as well as our security forces do not have the required protective clothing.
“As Government, we have moved a gear up in engaging various institutions to manufacture sanitisers, face masks and such other materials.
“Knowstics Academy in Mutasa, Mutare Polytechnic and Africa University are also manufacturing these items.”