Getting Zimbabwe's health system back on track

BULAWAYO:  Santa, in the guise of a charitable organisation known as Zimhealth, paid a belated visit to the Pelandaba Clinic, situated in the Township from which its name is derived.

The occasion, which occurred Wednesday, 13 January, 2010, took place in the form of a ceremony where various items of medical equipment were handed over to the City of Bulawayo.

Receiving the donation, Bulawayo’s mayor, Councillor P T Moyo, (Ward 22), expressed gratitude and informed guests that the gifts came at a most opportune time, since the clinic had been experiencing operational challenges, due to shortages of essentials and the breakdown of equipment. He encouraged more well-wishing organisations to enter into partnerships with the City, in order to contribute to the rebuilding of the Zimbabwe health system.

Dr. Bango, in his capacity as Provincial Medical Director for Matebeleland South, represented the Ministry of Health. He described Bulawayo as a “self catering” city, and expressed confidence that those concerned, would utilise the offerings in a most effective manner.

Appearing for the donors, Ms. Loraine Mangwiro, a former nurse in Zimbabwe, and now based at The International Red Cross, Geneva, Switzerland, told the gathering that Zimhealth is comprised of concerned Zimbabweans with a medical background, who live in the Diaspora. She said that the equipment being donated had been collected by members, using their own resources.

Ms. Mangwiro added that the occasion marked an on-going initiative, which would contribute towards improving the quality of people’s lives in Zimbabwe.

Pelandaba clinic is one of the oldest in the city, having been opened in 1961.

It caters mainly for patients from disadvantaged sectors in surrounding areas. The negative economic environment experienced in the city, and nation as a whole, due to mismanagement during the past decade, saw a marked deterioration of services at the facility, mirrored across Bulawayo and throughout Zimbabwe.

ZDDT officials, who attended, the ceremony, did so at the invitation of the City of Bulawayo, with which it has partnered, in order to restore local communities by working with elected Councillors and their Community Action Teams (CATs), as spelled out in the organisation’s SEBENZELA concept.