Thursday 26 March 2020


THE private sector has donated a US$30 000 ventilator to Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, which has so far claimed one person in Zimbabwe.

This comes at a time when the US$100 000 renovation and upgrading of Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital funded by Chinese firms through their embassy is almost complete.

The death of Zororo Makamba early this week at the hospital highlighted the need for the main isolation hospital to be fully prepared and equipped. 

Harare City Council, which runs Wilkins Hospital, has instituted investigations to establish the credibility of allegations being levelled against the hospital by the Makamba family.

While hospital authorities insist they did all they could to save Zororo’s life given the resources at their disposal.

The ventilator donation came from the Zimbabwe National Covid Action Trust (Zincat) and was handed over to the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

Zincat chairperson Dr Nozipo Maraire described the association as a conduit through which donors could assist the Government. 

She handed over the ventilator in the company of Mr Jeremy Brooke, who is a member of the association.

“We care about Zimbabwe and we are delighted to be able to make a contribution to the fight against the global pandemic of Covid-19,” said Dr Maraire.

“We are a conduit for donors to contribute in the fight against the pandemic in Zimbabwe. We would like to thank all those who have contributed and are still contributing.”

Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo praised Zincat for its help.

“We really want to appreciate Zincat that is coming in as a partner from the private sector and is giving us these machines not just one, but several machines,” he said.

“This is the first one of the consignment of machines that have come in. The ventilator is going to be useful to us as a nation and will be put to good use at Wilkins Hospital.” 

Dr Moyo said there was need for monitors, defribrators, and many other forms of equipment used in the fight against Covid-19.

ZINCAT will also work with the Government in establishing more isolation centres. The isolation centres will require equipment, hence the need for more people and institutions with means to come on board to help in the battle to save lives.

Government wants support in the form of protective equipment and clothing for all staff.

“It is very critical that we ensure that our members of staff do not end up getting infected,” said Dr Moyo. “They are the frontline soldiers and have to be fit and be in the correct personal protective equipment.”

As Wilkins is upgraded and equipped, Harare City Council has noted in its statement that despite Wilkins Hospital being a council facility, during times of crisis and strife, like this one, our institution comes under the direct management of Government.

“The city’s health facilities, including Wilkins and Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital, are designed to cater for primary health care with complicated cases being referred to referral hospitals. Ordinarily our clinics and hospitals therefore do not have some of the equipment needed for complicated issues.”

Harare City Council director of health services, Dr Prosper Chonzi, earlier said when Makamba was admitted, the wing set aside for coronavirus cases was still in the last stages of upgrade, expected to be complete this weekend, but that Wilkins staff worked flat out together with Makamba’s two private doctors to try and manage his condition.

The hospital said its first nurse who attended Makamba upon arrival at the hospital is said to be unwell and presently in isolation. 

Harare City Council said in the meantime, Mayor Herbert Gomba has undertaken to meet the Makamba family and hear their concerns. Herald


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