Zimbabwe has received a consignment of Covid-19 critical care equipment from the World Bank to support the management of patients in five central hospitals across the country.
The equipment, procured through Cordaid, is part of the support from the Health Sector Development Support Project (HSDSP) which is being funded by a US$25 million financing grant, of which US$5 million was set aside to complement the national Covid-19 response efforts.
Zimbabwe is co-financing the HSDSP programme to the tune of US$24,6 million.
Among other key equipment and materials, the donation included Intensive Care Unit (ICU) kits comprising of beds, ventilators, multiparameter monitors, syringe and infusion pumps.
Speaking at the handover of the equipment, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro said the commodities would be distributed to Sally Mugabe Hospital, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, United Bulawayo Hospitals, Mpilo Central Hospital and Chitungwiza Hospital.
"The ICU kits will be used to support the management of Covid-19 inpatients as part of strengthening case management," he said. "Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank through its implementing partner Cordaid has been supporting the Ministry of Health and Child Care to effectively respond to this scourge."
So far, the country has received gene xpert catridges which were distributed to all provinces to improve diagnosis of Covid-19 as well as personal protective equipment for health personnel working in isolation facilities.
World Bank Health Specialist (Zimbabwe) Mr Chenjerai Sisimayi said the global financier was looking into procurement of additional equipment to support the emergency response.
"I am pleased that we are able to continue this partnership," he said. "The US$25 million fifth Additional Financing from the Global Financing Facility (GFF) and Government counterpart financing of US$24,6 million have been timely to support measures to sustain gains and minimise the effects of economic, climatic and health emergency shocks.
"These efforts complement the available resources from Government and other stakeholders in the health sector, including development partners and the private sector to ensure better health outcomes for Zimbabwe's population."
Cordaid team leader Dr Endris Seid said the objective of the HSDSP was to sustain coverage and improve the quality of an integrated package of RMNCAH-N (Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health Plus Nutrition) services, as well as strengthen Covid-19 response and institutional capacity to manage performance-based contracts consistent with the recipient's ongoing health initiatives.
"The priorities being supported under this component are guided by the national Covid-19 response plan, focussing on supporting areas which are not covered by GoZ and other donors across the different pillars of the response," he said.
"The project has been supporting coordination, surveillance, risk communication and community engagement, IPC, case management and laboratory pillars since the second half of 2020."
Dr Seid said although prevention was important in containing the spread of Covid-19 pandemic and mitigating its impact, it was necessary to strengthen the case management capacity of health facilities.
He said the ICU units would further strengthen the Ministry of health's capacity to provide critical care to Covid-19 patients in need of ICU care.
"In its continued effort to strengthen the case management capacity of MoHCC, the project is in the process of procuring 80 oxygen concentrators and eight fully kitted ambulances through UNDP," he said.