BARCLAYS Bank donated an ambulance worth US$30 000 to Chikombedzi Mission Hospital last week as part of its corporate social responsibility.
Health advisor in the President's office Dr Timothy Stamps who was the guest of honour at the handover ceremony applauded the move by the bank.
He urged other business sectors to partner Government in delivering reliable health services.
"The nation should avoid being depended and should come up with initiatives which help develop the country using the available natural resources," he said. Dr Stamps said Chikombedzi Mission Hospital had received its only ambulance donated by Barclays in 1999 and it broke down in 2007 because of the adverse conditions under which it operated.
"The ambulance travelled mainly on bumpy and potholed dirt roads. Ferrying numerous patients from a population of 60 000 people to Chiredzi Hospital (130km away) and from 14 clinics as far as the Limpopo and Mozambican border to Chikombedzi Hospital," said Dr Stamps.
The hospital approached Barclays in November 2009 asking for assistance with a new ambulance without any success. Dr Stamps was made aware of the transport problem on his visit to Chikombedzi Mission Hospital in April last year, and advised the hospital management to contact Barclays again.
"After many months of following up, Barclays bank realised the pressing need at Chikombedzi Mission Hospital," he said.
Barclays Bank chairman Mr Anthony Mandiwanza said this initiative would make health facilities accessible to members of Chikombedzi District.
"Given the need of such communities, one can easily imagine the impact of women in labour and their access to urgent medical attention which contributes positively to reduced infant mortality rates in the area," he said.
Mr Mandiwanza urged the business community to engage in corporate social responsibility especially in marginalised areas like Chikombedzi and help eradicate poverty.