$5m for new district hospital
THE Government has availed $5 million for the construction of a new district hospital that will have about 125 beds in Umzingwane District in Matabeleland South Province.
National Assembly Member for Umzingwane constituency Retired Brigadier-General Levi Mayihlome told Sunday News that they were very happy the Government through the 2019 National Budget had availed funds for the construction of a new hospital in the district.
He said construction work would commence at the beginning of 2019 adding that they have urged the Ministry of Health and Child Care to make sure foundations start early so that if the $5 million is not enough to complete the construction the Government would then allocate another amount in the 2020 budget.
“We are very happy as Umzingwane that in the budget the Government allocated us $5 million to construct a new district hospital. Umzingwane has been the only district without a district hospital and we are happy that this year they have considered us.
“The construction will start soon after the New Year and we have urged the Ministry of Health and Child Care to ensure foundations are dug early so that we can be given more money if this one is not enough to complete the whole construction exercise,” he said.
Matabeleland South provincial medical director Dr Chido Chikodzore said the land has been identified and a site plan was already in place.
“The land has been identified; the new hospital will be at St Paul’s farm that was partly owned by Cameroons just before Esikhoveni Training Centre. The Public Works Department needs to avail a plan for the hospital then a bill of quantities is done,” she said.
Dr Chikodzore said the new hospital would allow the district to effectively serve the population by offering in-patient management which was currently not possible.
“The proposed hospital minimum requirement is an in-patients ward with a minimum of 125-bed capacity. It will have such facilities as the male, female, children, maternity and labour wards, isolation of infectious diseases, out patients, casualty, family and child health unit, laboratory, pharmacy dispensary and bulk medical stores. Radiology, operating theatre and sterilising unit, laundry unit and waiting mothers’ home with laundry and cooking facilities will be some of the facilities.
“It will also have a rehabilitation unit, kitchen, including food storage space, staff accommodation — a minimum of 10 housing units, and at least 10 bedsitter flats and general stores, hospital parking space for ambulances and service vehicles and staff and clients vehicles, mortuary and dental unit,” said Dr Chikodzore.
She said the new hospital would also attract professionals like doctors who usually do not stay for long in the district because of lack of accommodation and some of the services like Caesarian sections.
The current Esigodini District Hospital was built in 1945 as a Sexually Transmitted Infections clinic intended for the farm workers. The hospital space is limited for expansion as it is sandwiched between a railway line and private properties in the form of farms. The hospital has not developed from its original structure of 1945 and therefore it does not meet the standards of a district hospital.
The positioning of the hospital is not strategic as it is located 5km away from residential areas and its location makes it inaccessible to seriously ill patients who drop off at the highway and proceed on foot as there is no available transport to the area.
The hospital is a 58-bed institution with eight beds at the maternity wing, paediatric 10 beds and adult general 40 beds with all these squashed in five small wards.
Retired Brigadier-General Levi Mayihlome