Zimbabwe: Zim Surgeons to Help in Other Countries

17 April 2021

Zimbabwean surgeons have been authorised to help separate conjoined twins from Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon following international endorsements of the country's processes.

The appeal from the two countries follows the successful operations carried out at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital early this year and another in 2014.

Minister of Health and Child Care, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, has authorised the surgeons to assist.

This dovetails with the vision of medical tourism - with the Government clear that they no longer want to export patients by having more specialties done locally.

VP Chiwenga told professionals at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital that they continue to make the country proud by these landmark successes, and promised that their good work will be rewarded.

"In another success story, the hospital initiated the hydrocephalus and spina bifida camp, and over 60 patients were screened. Out of the 60, 36 babies with spina bifida and hydrocephalus were operated on. Well done! You continue to make this country proud.

"In addition to all the paediatric specialist services available at this hospital, it is my vision to introduce newer areas like open heart surgery, transplant procedures, oncology, cochlea implants." he said.

VP Chiwenga told the health workers to give him all their requirements, both personally and for their trade, in writing so that he sees that all the possible ones were addressed.

The Vice President told the medical professionals to take pride in practicing in their country and not to be lured by foreign countries.

He was confident the medical team at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital will be equal to the task that they will earn international recognition.

Government is also committed to take equitable health services across the county, and VP Chiwenga ordered Permanent Secretary Air Commodore Dr Jasper Chimedza to ensure similar services were availed in Bulawayo.

"We are confident that the Children's Hospital will be known in Africa and indeed the world as a centre of paediatric service excellence," said VP Chiwenga.

"In this regard, I have instructed my Permanent Secretary, Air Commodore Dr Jasper Chimedza, to establish a similar service at Mpilo Central Hospital, where a children's hospital already exists."

Board chair for Sally Mugabe Central Hospital Dr Edward Chagonda said the Ministry was privileged to have VP Chiwenga at the helm, as he was a person who wanted to get the job done.

Specialist surgeon Dr Bothwell Mbuwayesango, who successfully led a team of health professionals to separate the conjoined twins both in 2014 and this year, hailed the expertise in Zimbabwe.

Specialists from Zimbabwe always shine during regular examinations for specialists in East, Central and Southern Africa.

Last year, three locals made it into the top four best students.

Dr Luxwell Jokonya, a consultant paediatric neuro-surgeon, said Zimbabwe had the requisite personnel for most specialties, but appealed for more resources and working space.

Mr Tapiwa Mutare, father of the conjoined twins who were successfully separated after an 18-hour complex operation on February 23 at the age of 73 days, thanked the Government for availing such quality services.

"I kept on praying," he said. "We have two other children, the first and second born. I am happy Zimbabwe is capable of offering such excellent services."

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