The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) yesterday handed over medical equipment to the paediatric wing of Harare Central Hospital.
JICA this month finished the rehabilitation work at the children’s hospital which began in September last year. The installed equipment includes 16 water heaters for the medical ward, surgical ward and operation building. Two washing machines, two anesthesia machines, four bedside monitors, one gastrointestinal fiberscope for paediatric and four infusion pumps were also installed in the operation theatre.
This was a follow-up to the Japanese government’s construction of paediatric facilities for Harare Central Hospital in 1998 and Mpilo Central Hospital in 2000. Speaking at the handover, the Japanese Ambassador to the country, H.E Yonezo Fukuda said that the follow-up cooperation was made possible by the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s request for help in rehabilitating the facility.
“Due to serious economic challenges faced by the country as a whole, it became difficult for the Hospital to procure spare parts for the maintenance of equipment leading to over-utilisation. Moreover, some equipment became obsolete after nearly 15 years of operation and needed replacing,” said Ambassador Fukuda.
Minister of Health and Child care and guest of honour at the event, Dr David Parirenyatwa thanked the Japanese for their unwavering support to the institution and said that this would help his ministry in attaining millennium development goals 4 and 5.
“Zimbabwe is working towards the achievement of the millennium development goals 4 which reads ‘to improve and reduce maternal morbidity and mortality rate by 75% by 2015’ and 5 that reads ‘to reduce neonatal morbidity and mortality by two thirds by 2015. The equipping of the hospital especially the theatres goes a long way in enabling to move towards our goals,” said Parirenyatwa.
Yuko Mizuno the Zimbabwe’s JICA representative said that part of the work included the provision of state of the art medical equipment, replacement and installation of geysers for the supply of hot water.
“JICA hopes that the handed over equipment and facilities to Harare Hospital Paediatric Unit will be of benefit to children, the future generation of Zimbabwe. We hope this will also go a long way in motivating as well as saving children’s lives,” said Mizuno.
Other guests at the event included the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Paul Chimedza and the ministry’s permanent secretary Brigadier General Dr Gerald Gwinji.