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Lupane Provincial Hospital takes shape

by Staff Reporter
25 Sep 2022 at 10:42hrs | Views
THE 250-bed Lupane Provincial Hospital, which is set to improve the provision of health services in Matabeleland North is taking shape, with key stakeholders hopeful that there will be significant progress towards its completion by the end of the year.

With the construction of the hospital designated as a priority project, Government last year allocated $47 million for a health institution that is set to improve the delivery of health services in Matabeleland North, the only province without a provincial hospital.  The new institution is also expected to ease pressure on Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo, where critically ill patients from the province are referred to. St Luke's Hospital, a Catholic-run institution, is serving as the provincial hospital for Matabeleland North.

Construction of the hospital had stalled over the years due to a lack of funding, before the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa accelerated developments on site, with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who doubles up as Minister of Health and Child Care, revealing last year that the completion of the hospital was at the top of the Government's priority list. When a Sunday News crew visited the hospital, construction crews were busy at work on different structures at the giant hospital that are in various stages of competition.

The outpatients, admission and pharmacy blocks are almost complete with the structures already roofed, while the surgical ward, paediatric, antenatal and maternity sections are also in various stages of competition. A flat for members of the staff is also now almost complete.

In an interview, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo said as the pace was picking up at the construction site, the Government was hopeful that the project would be near competition by the end of the year.

"As you saw on site, the men working there are quite busy and that's understandable because there's a lot to do. The progress that is being made is very pleasing because this is a really big hospital. There will be doctor's quarters here and shops, so this is a place that will not just deliver quality health services but serve as a hub for the whole of Lupane and the province at large. We are hopeful that by December even more significant progress would have been made and the hospital will be near competition," he said.

Minister Moyo said he expected the hospital to change the face of the province both in terms of health services provision in Matabeleland and a corresponding increase in economic activity in the province.

"For us, the hospital will be a game changer and we expect it to raise the level of economic activity in the province because it will bring to Lupane other amenities that will put us in a position to reap various benefits. In terms of health this is also great for the province because in the past we only had St Luke's and no referral hospital of our own thus making life difficult for patients. That will change with the coming of the provincial hospital and we cannot underestimate the effect that this will have on the provision of health services for our people," he said.

In an interview, Ministry of Health and Child Care spokesperson, Mr Donald Mujiri said that the construction of Lupane Provincial Hospital was part of the Second Republic's ambitious project to revolutionise the health services sector in the country.

"Zimbabwe healthcare is provided through primary, secondary, tertiary care and quinary hospital, to cover all disciplines. Since 2018, the Ministry of Health and Child Care made significant achievements in the development of health infrastructure ranging from the construction of new health facilities to rehabilitation/refurbishment of existing infrastructure.

"In view of the above, a total of 47 health facilities were constructed and completed, 94 projects were under renovation/ rehabilitation to completion, a total of 1 074 health facilities were solarised, and 201 health facilities benefitted from the borehole water project. The construction of Lupane Provincial Hospital has progressed significantly on the central stores, pharmacy, casualty, outpatient department, administration block, junior staff house, maternity block, surgical ward, paediatric ward, dental clinic, eye clinic, kitchen substation, and antenatal and post-natal section," he said.

Mr Mujiri said the Government had so far invested over US$200 million towards the improvement of health infrastructure in the country

"The Ministry has invested an estimated US$210 million on bringing quality healthcare to all Zimbabweans, with the project set to provide four by 20-bed and 26 by 20-bed health centres as well as five by 60-bed district hospitals. A hi-tech equipped Stoneridge health centre was opened with outpatient, maternity, ART and inpatient facilities and staff accommodation," he said.

Source - Sunday News