JAPAN Ambassador to Zimbabwe Toshiyuki Iwado has expressed shock at the state of the country’s public hospitals due to lack of sufficient equipment, something that has led to a high number of patients turned away as the crisis persists.
Ambassador Iwado raised alarm over the state of the country’s public hospitals Wednesday while signing an exchange note with Zimbabwe for Harare Hospital equipment supply.
“Zimbabwe used to have a well-established health sector, through its well-organised hospitals like Harare Children’s Hospital. However, it goes without saying that in recent years those standards have become compromised,” Iwado said.
“There is a lack of necessary equipment. It has been reported that Harare Children’s Neonatal Unit does not have sufficient equipment to monitor and treat babies, with many being turned away without proper treatment.
“But as well as lack of equipment, hospitals have not been efficiently managed with the result that the environment is not organised or hygienic. When I visited the Children’s Hospital recently, I noticed a lot of unwanted clutter, such as obsolete or broken down equipment, lying around and a lack of cleaning in some of the wards and toilets.”
During the signing ceremony, Iwado announced that the government of Japan would contribute to strengthening maternal and child health care through the provision of medical and hospital equipment for Harare Children’s Hospital and Neonatal Unit.
“The new equipment will be state-of-the-art and high quality paediatric equipment. This will mean that all of the hospital staff, including the doctors, nurses and technicians, ensure that equipment is correctly used and maintained, and the environment kept clean and organised.
“This project will benefit those of the most vulnerable groups of society, namely the children and mothers. Harare Children’s Hospital has been playing a pivotal role in the hospital network of Zimbabwe by taking care of patients from all walks of life, including the less privileged. The maternity unit is one of the busiest referral centres in the country and receives some of the most complicated cases,” the ambassador said.
Speaking at the same ceremony, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said Japan’s support to revamp the hospital would assist in reducing infant mortality rate as well as improving healthcare to mothers and children.
“Through the exchange of notes we are signing, the government of Japan will be supporting the government in equipping Harare Children’s Hospital with the state-of-the-art medical equipment comprising of bedside intensive care unit, monitors, an ultrasound scope, operation and examination equipment, a portable X ray system, bedside coronary care unit monitors, emergency ventilators, multichannel electrocardiographs, an anesthesia workstation, artificial resuscitators, automated external defibrillator and portable vein finders,” said Ncube.
Meanwhile, Ncube announced Wednesday that Treasury had allocated US$5 million to address the shortage of medical equipment at public hospitals with Sally Mugabe Central Hospital formally known as the Harare Central Hospital being the first beneficiary of the government’s 90-Day Rapid Plan.