Opening date for Ekusileni
EKUSILENI Medical Centre in Bulawayo will finally open its doors to members of the public on November 30 with a 50-bed capacity amid revelations that the institution is now ready to admit Covid-19 patients.
The hospital which has been designated as a Covid-19 centre, was closed more than 15 years ago when its equipment was declared obsolete.
Ekusileni, a brainchild of late Vice-President Dr Joshua Nkomo, has experienced a number of false starts and numerous efforts to re-open the institution whose building is owned by the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) have failed. The hospital was opened in 2001 and closed in 2004.
Last month, however, there was hope that the institution would be re-opened after the Government identified it as one of the institutions that were earmarked to house cases of Covid-19 in the city.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, as of October 15, Zimbabwe had recorded 8 075 cases, 7 669 recoveries and 231 Covid-19 deaths. Bulawayo province accounts for 1 534 cases, 87 deaths and 1 404 recoveries.
The seven-day rolling average for new cases rose to 19 from 17, cumulative cases curve flattened while the national case fatality rate now stands at 2.9 percent as of Wednesday.
Ekusileni has been designated as one of the Covid-19 treatment centres in Bulawayo but the Government wants it to be a specialist medical training centre post the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bulawayo is home to four designated centres, and three are all undergoing renovations since the outbreak of Covid-19.
The others are Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital, the Old Bartley Memorial Block (BMB) within the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) which is now close to completion and privately-owned Mater Dei Hospital.
The BMB is said to be almost ready and will open its doors on November 1 though authorities had projected that by mid-this month Covid-19 patients will be able to access treatment there.
Yesterday UBH had two Covid-19 patients who are said to be stable and awaiting discharge.
Speaking during a tour of the isolation centres yesterday, Minister of Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Cde Judith Ncube said she was happy with the progress at all three health institutions.
She also commended Bulawayo residents for the patience and support rendered so far to ensure the city is prepared to handle Covid-19 in case there is an upsurge of cases in need of treatment.
“We are preparing for the worst and our wish as a Government is if we happen to have an increase in cases, affected persons should be well received and well taken care of hence we are doing our best at Ekusileni, UBH and Mpilo B5 ward which was revamped by NetOne and TelOne,” said Minister Ncube.
“We are so happy because of the role played by the community and that Ekusileni will be finally opening on November 30. We are opening with 50 beds but more beds are needed as we are not yet sure of the path this pandemic will take.”
Minister Ncube said people should continue wearing masks and practising social distancing to avoid being caught in the second wave of
Covid-19 being reported in some countries.
She added that with the opening of schools, children must be monitored so that their risk to Covid-19 is reduced.
UBH acting chief executive officer Dr Narcacius Dzvanga said the BMB was 95 percent complete though the hospital was already attending to people with Covid-19.
“We are nearing the completion of our Covid19 112 bedded BMB which will have 14 ICU beds and 10 beds for the high dependency unit. We were targeting to open mid-October but engineers have told us we are running behind schedule though on the first of November we will take care of Covid-19 from this hospital,” said Dr Dzvanga.
“At the moment we are lodging Covid-19 somewhere. We have two patients ready for discharge who are in the hospital. We wish to move them to the designated centre and we are sure that all will go well.”
Dr Dzvanga said based on the current Covid-19 trend in Zimbabwe, he was sure there will not be time when the centre will be overwhelmed by patients.
He said the UBH outpatients department had opened partially as members will be required to book via the switchboard which has more than 10 lines.
“In an event of an overflow the systems are in place even though I don’t think we will be overwhelmed. We cannot explain how our cases and deaths are still when compared to what we are seeing on international news. Scientists cannot figure out what really is protecting us and we thank God for that. It is very unlikely that we will be overwhelmed by cases,” added Dr Dzvanga.
According to him, the UBH out-patients department has opened partially and members of the public will have to book via phone calls as it can only accommodate 115 patients daily.
“We can only have 50 people at a time of which 20 are cleaners and staff which leaves us with about 15 patients who normally bring escorts. We will be able to attend to members of the public and close by 12PM so that we do the decontamination and prepare for the next day,” he said.
Thorngrove which is also undergoing renovations is open and as of yesterday there were two patients who were in isolation. — @ thamamoe
VICE President Kembo Mohadi yesterday said the Government is working tirelessly to fully implement social and economic development policies as it seeks to transform the country into an upper middle-economy by 2030 as outlined in the ruling party’s 2018 elections manifesto.
He was speaking during a tour of outstanding Government housing projects in Beitbridge which have been stalled by fiscal related challenges.
The Vice President said a lot of ground had been covered towards delivering 1,5 million medium-income housing units over the period 2018-2023.
VP Mohadi who chairs the social development cluster in Cabinet said providing standard, quality and affordable housing to its workers and general citizens was of paramount importance.
He said the Ministry of National Housing was created to ensure that feat is achieved within target and that the security forces should also get decent housing within their cantonments.
“A number of housing projects had been stalled in the old dispensation and we cannot let that go unattended under the New Dispensation,” said VP Mohadi.
“Thus, I am moving around with the ministers who fall in that cluster to have a feel of the needs and situation on the ground so that we make corrective measures.
“There is no way you can push for development as a leader without getting to the people on the ground.
“When we went to elections, we promised Zimbabweans a number of things which we are fulfilling as we inch towards our envisaged Vision 2030.
“We have started working on these in order of priority. We are action people and not concerned with talk shows”.
VP Mohadi said under the current housing development drive, the Government will commit more resources to complete 16 duplex flats, 52 F14 houses, and several garden flats to accommodate scores of civil servants deployed to Beitbridge.
He expressed concern over the dilapidated state of the Beitbridge housing project which has received little attention in the last decade.
The VP noted the outstanding works on the project during his tour with Local Government Minister July Moyo, and National Housing Minister, Daniel Garwe.
“We have seen, we have conquered, and this can’t go on forever.
“We are going to bring the Minister of Finance and Economic Development on the ground so that he gets the quantum of the resources required and make funds available.
“This project should be completed by the first quarter of next year, considering that the technocrats on the ground say they need at least three months to complete inside and outside infrastructure,” said the VP.
He said Beitbridge was the face of the country to those entering from South Africa hence the need to afford the housing project the urgent attention it deserves.
VP Mohadi said Zimbabweans should be proud of working together to build their economy and infrastructure from their own resources.
He said the country was under attack internationally and was not getting anything from anyone.
“We are on our own and we will do things in our own way to achieve the targets of our manifesto.
“Note that we have rebuilt the Cyclone Idai ravaged areas in Manicaland and we are gradually upgrading national roads and we will get there.
“We have been relying on our local brains to turn things around and in no time, we will be one of the strongest economies in the region,” said VP Mohadi.
He said the Government was also concerned with the plight and dignity of civil servants, which it will continually upgrade.
VP Mohadi said it was good for any Government to have highly motivated workers to fully implement its programmes to achieve its goals.
“That can only be achieved if we have, we cater for the foot soldiers’ housing, health and remuneration needs and providing quality, affordable and decent accommodation for them,” he said.