In­dia ex­tends $2,2m life sav­ing drugs

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Kuda Bwititi Harare Bureau

IN­DIA is ship­ping 100 tonnes of crit­i­cal drugs worth $2,2 mil­lion to Zim­babwe to sup­port the coun­try’s health sec­tor, in­clud­ing part­ner­ing Govern­ment on op­er­a­tional­i­sa­tion of Ekusileni Hospi­tal in Bu­l­awayo, it has been learnt.

The un­der­tak­ing fol­lows In­dian Vice-Pres­i­dent Shri Venka­iah Naidu’s re­cent visit to Zim­babwe, dur­ing which he and Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa dis­cussed co-op­er­a­tion within the con­text of the health sec­tor, among other mat­ters. In­dia is glob­ally recog­nised for pi­o­neer­ing the spread of af­ford­able generic drugs and at­tract­ing thou­sands of med­i­cal tourists an­nu­ally.

The coun­try has agreed to ex­tend its ex­per­tise and as­sis­tance to Zim­babwe fol­low­ing dis­cus­sions with Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa, who has set about re­viv­ing the pub­lic health sec­tor af­ter years of ne­glect by the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Last week, In­dia’s Am­bas­sador to Zim­babwe Mr Rung­sung Masakui told our Harare Bureau that: “On the drugs, it is go­ing to be about 100 tonnes of life-sav­ing medicines worth around $2 mil­lion to $2,2 mil­lion. Th­ese drugs will come in three or four in­stal­ments be­cause the medicines have a short life­span. We are ex­pect­ing the first batch very soon given that there is dire need for life-sav­ing medicine in Zim­babwe. I am sure more in­for­ma­tion will be availed in the com­ing days in con­junc­tion with the Min­istry of Health and Child Care on the types of medicines and pro­cure­ment process. The drugs will ben­e­fit the or­di­nary peo­ple in need.”

In­dia is keen on help­ing to op­er­a­tionalise Ekusileni Hospi­tal a brain­child of na­tional hero Dr Joshua Nkomo and make it a state-ofthe-art in­ter­na­tional med­i­cal cen­tre com­pa­ra­ble to its own renowned fa­cil­i­ties.

In June Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa said Govern­ment had se­cured an In­dian in­vestor, Sharda Group of Hos­pi­tals, to re­sus­ci­tate the 156-bed hospi­tal, which has never opened since con­struc­tion in 2001.

The in­vest­ment is en­vis­aged to pave way for spe­cial­ist ser­vices like brain and spine surgery, and liver and kid­ney trans­plants.

Am­bas­sador Masakui said: “In­dia will bring in ex­per­tise and man­age­ment. The idea is that Zim­bab­weans who go to In­dia for spe­cial­ist med­i­cal treat­ment should be able to get sim­i­lar fa­cil­i­ties here so that they do not have to travel to In­dia. We want the hospi­tal to be a re­gional hub so that peo­ple from other African coun­tries can come. Govern­ment has to come for­ward and say let’s go for­ward. As a friendly coun­try, we are will­ing to help and there are other par­ties in In­dia who also want to help but feel that the process is too slow.”

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa gets a to­ken of ap­pre­ci­a­tion from MSU di­rec­tor of in­for­ma­tion Mrs Miri­rai Mawere af­ter do­nat­ing $50 000 to­wards the con­struc­tion of the Midlands State Univer­sity (MSU) Kwekwe Law School yes­ter­day ( See story on page 2)

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