By Alois Vinga
THE government of Japan has extended a philanthropic US$3.8 million grant that will allow Zimbabwe to provide medical and hospital equipment to support its response to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The donation comes shortly after the country could be experiencing a fresh rise in Covid-19 infections with the Health ministry reporting 27 new cases and five deaths Monday.
Speaking at a signing ceremony for the exchange of notes for Covid-19 response support project, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said several hospitals will be supported through the project.
“Japan support will equip four central and eight provisional hospitals with state of the art medical equipment consisting of bedside Intensive Care Unit (ICU) monitors, an ultrasound scope, operation and examination equipment,” he said.
The equipment donated also includes a portable X-ray system, bedside Coronary Care Unit (CCU) monitors, emergency ventilators, multi-channel electrocardiographs, an anaesthesia workstation, artificial resuscitators, Automated External Defibrillator (AEDs), and portable vein finders.
Beneficiary hospitals include Parirenyatwa, Sally Mugabe, Mpilo and United Bulawayo.
Provincial hospitals on the list also include Bindura, Chinhoyi, Gwanda, Gweru, Kadoma, Marondera, Masvingo and Mutare.
Japanese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Toshiyuki Iwado expressed hope the equipment will support many Zimbabweans.
“I sincerely hope that the standard of health service delivery at the hospitals will be much higher for as many patients as possible and for many years to come. In this regard, it is essential for the equipment to be used and maintained with the utmost care,” he said.
Iwado urged the Zimbabwean authorities to ensure this with the sound and effective functioning of the healthcare and medical systems.
Japan believes that for Zimbabwe to achieve further development in a sustainable manner, the strengthening of the health sector and the achievement of Universal Health Coverage was important.
Japan has stood with the people of Zimbabwe and has to date, handed over millions worth of donations to the troubled Southern Africa ally.