The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Nation, India in Online Deal

Local patients will be able to consult Indian doctors online after an agreement was reached to connect health institutions to super-specialty hospitals in the Asian country.Major referral hospitals Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and Harare Central Hospital are part of the deal expected to run for the next five years.

Addressing guests at a ceremony to mark the Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation Day in Harare last week, India's Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Jeitendra Tripathi, said the programme would also be used for online training of doctors and nurses.

Mr Tripathi said the initiative was part of India's quest to support Zimbabwe through capacity building and human resources development under ITEC programme.

"We plan to connect Parirenyatwa and Harare central hospitals, and a few others online with 12 super-specialty hospitals in India for online consultation and online training of doctors and nurses for a period of five years," he said.

"Hopefully, this programme will be inaugurated very soon."

Mr Tripathi said India would also establish a food testing laboratory and a rural technology park in Zimbabwe.

He pledged to connect the University of Zimbabwe with some leading institutions of higher learning inIndia for online courses.

"The courses will result in students being awarded undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral degrees in ICT, management and finance," Mr Tripathi said.

He said India would continue supporting Zimbabwe in other programmes of development.

"We believe that knowledge when shared, proliferates for the benefit of the entire humanity," he said.

Mr Tripathi said so far the training programme had covered candidates from 158 countries benefiting at least 50 000 people globally.

He said the number of institutions offering training had gone up from seven in 1964 to 60 in 2012, providing over 300 fully sponsored courses.

In Zimbabwe, at least 45 candidates benefited in 2009 and 2010 and the intake had increased in 2011 to 90 candidates and to 135 in 2011-2012.

India, Mr Tripathi said, launched another training programme under the India Africa Forum Summit and had earmarked training for Africa.

Small and Medium Enterprise and Co-operatives Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni commended India for being an all-weather friend to Zimbabwe.

"India has supported us in our capacity building by providing specialised training to our people and we are very grateful," Minister Nyoni said.

The ITEC programme was launched on September 15 1964 as a bilateral programme of assistance of the Government of India.

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