The Herald (Harare)

21 November 2012

Zimbabwe: U.S $2 Million Boost for Beitbridge Hospital

Government has availed US$2 million for the acquisition of drugs and equipment at Beitbridge district hospital under the Targeted Approach Programme, an official has said. The 140-bed hospital is a referral centre for 120 000 people though the number is continually increasing with the town's growth.

Matabeleland South provincial medical director Dr William Busumani said on Monday that they had since acquired some equipment and drugs for the hospital.

The targeted approach programme is funded by the Government through the Ministry of Finance.

Dr Busumani said they had also received US$200 000 to renovate and construct more structures at the hospital through the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP). He said they had managed to pay a total of US$100 000 to service providers whom they engaged for the Targeted Approach Programme and were awaiting for the release of more funds from Treasury.

Some of the equipment which was acquired at the hospital include a new cold room for the kitchen and an autoclave machine used to sterilise utensils from the theatre.

The hospital authorities had been sterilising their utensils in Bulawayo twice a week before acquiring the machine.

They have also bought new cabinets for the new mortuary that will carry 24 bodies.

The mortuary carries a maximum of six bodies though most of the times it carries tenfold its capacity.

Some residents in the border rely on mortuaries in Musina, South Africa, or the few private morgues around the town. Administration offices at the hospital and pharmacy storerooms have since been furnished with air conditioners and refrigerators.

"This is an annual programme where one hospital is allocated funds in each of the 10 provinces," said Dr Busumani.

"This year we chose Beitbridge for Matabeleland South province because of its geographical location as a transit town.

"But our main worry is the slow rate at which the funds are being released from Treasury. You will note that this money was unveiled at the beginning of the year."

Dr Busumani said they wanted to replace and repair all the ageing and essential equipment required at the hospital such as the theatre, mortuary and pharmacy.

Doctors Without Borders, a non-governmental organisation, is constructing an opportunistic infection clinic and an incinerator at the hospital.

Dr Busumani said through the PSIP funds, they had managed to repair the parameter fence, car parking shed, construct a guardroom, plumbing and roofs in most wards which had succumbed to wear and tear.

"We are also calling on members of the community to complement our efforts of remaining viable by paying hospital user fees," he said.

"These are used for our day to day operations and acquisition of some drugs.

"Improving the country's health services needs an integrated approach and hence the need for a synergy amongst all stakeholders."

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