State owned telecommunication giants, Netone and TelOne have unveiled a refurbished and fully equipped state of the art Ward B5 at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo as part of the two entities initiative to support efforts by the government in the fight against Covid-19.
Under this project, the parastatals combined ZWL 5 million each to make a cumulative ZWL 10 million to finance the program which identifies support to three health facilities namely, Mpilo Hospital, Sally Mugabe Hospital and Beatrice Infectious Hospital.
Speaking at the unveiling yesterday, Netone acting chief executive officer, Chipo Jaisson said the project is meant to improve the country's public health system which is facing a myriad of challenges.
"This partnership resonates with NetOne's mission to transform lives and develop communities, not only through offering seamless communication solutions, but providing support towards improving the health and wellbeing of the nation at large. I am glad to say this initiative, falls within one of our critical Corporate Social Investment pillars - One Health, which is aligned with SDG 3 - which seeks to "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all" and SDG 6- which "Ensures availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all," she said.
The development comes at a time the country's public health infrastructure is in a deplorable state due to lack of investment to maintain and mordenise it over a long period of time.
The situation has been exercabated by the emergency of the Covid-19 pandemic begining of this year which has exposed the country' s neglect of the public health system over the years.
"We understand that the current state of our public health care sector, impacts on their ability and level of preparedness to deal with such a pandemic, which is why we saw it fit as businesses to offer the necessary financial support to ensure that we effectively build capacity during and post Covid 19," she said.
As part of the interventions, Netone and Telone have drilled a total of six boreholes at the three Public Health Facilities and supplied the institutions with personal protective equipment.
Telecommunications firms have played a huge role since the onset of the pandemic and have assisted in numerous ways.
To date, all players in the sector contributed towards the setting up of the National Covid 19 Response Hotline 2019, through the donation of various ICT equipment and toll free lines to facilitate the immediate set up of the Ministry of Health & Child Care National Emergency Call Centre Facility.
"It is indeed gratifying to see the sterling efforts of these two entities in the ICT sector, as well as the impactful contribution they continue to make in improving our health sector during such a challenging period for Zimbabwe and the world as a whole," said the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services.