The government is set to complete 32 new hospitals around the country under the National Development Strategy one (NDS1) which emphasizes the building of world class infrastructure and provision of key social services.
Addressing the media yesterday, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro confirmed the 32-hospital construction programme but referred the technical questions to acting Director Hospital Planning and Project Management Engineer Frank Chiku.
Eng Chiku said the first phase targeted four health facilities: the Stoneridge Centre in Harare South, Bulawayo, Mataga in Mberengwa, and Chimanimani.
“Completion of Stoneridge was slated for September but because of the Covid-19 lockdown, we are revising our timelines. The next phase of the construction is set for next year,” he said.
Chegutu Rural District Council has been building three new clinics using Covid-19 funds in order to improve health services.
Council chairperson Councillor Tendai Gwinji recently said the completion of the clinics would reduce mortality rate and long distances walked by villagers to access healthcare.
“We have completed Danangwe and Katawa Clinics. Already, nurses are now offering services to people at Danangwe which we have opened.
“Another clinic in Mhondoro is expected to be completed soon as we have purchased material using Devolution Funds. This is in line with our Government’s agenda and President Mnangagwa’s vision of improving the lives of the people,” he said.
According to Gwinji, the council is also working on building staff houses at Katawa and Mhondoro North Clinics to cater for the welfare of the nursing and health staff.
“People used to walk at least 20 kilometres to access health care services. The move by the Government to introduce devolution funds is highly appreciated by the council which has found challenges in meeting its targets of providing services to the people due to low revenue collections.”
Covid-19 saw the already-planned rehabilitation of public health facilities accelerated in anticipation of high turnout of patients due to pandemic.