Story BY Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor
Government has embarked on a number of health infrastructure projects in Matabeleland South province which have improved health service delivery in the province much to the delight of residents.
The government’s ultimate objective is to achieve sustainable development goal number three of ensuring health and well-being for all, hence the drive to improve health sector infrastructure which includes the installation of solar systems at all health centres as well as adding new infrastructure to existing ones.
A visit to Matabeleland South Province witnessed the construction of a new pharmacy at Filabusi District Hospital in Insiza, while at Esigodini Hospital in Umzingwane district, a 40kva solar system has alleviated the power challenges at the hospital, much to the delight of residents.
“We would like to thank the government for installing this solar system which has really helped us because power is now available 24/7 and we are guaranteed of getting treatment at any time,” said a resident.
Another resident said, “In the past, the nurses would tell you that they have no medicine at the hospital because there is no electricity so we would have to wait for months before getting our children immunised, but now the fridges are working really well, so the jabs are readily available.”
“This is really commendable and we really appreciate everything that the government is doing in ensuring that we have access to health care services,” said another.
14 other clinics in the province have also been installed with solar systems, a move which has been commended by the local legislator.
“At least now, the hospital can operate 24/7 without challenges of lack of electricity and also the money that has been served from the electricity bills will now be used for other uses like purchasing of drugs and other consumables required by the hospital,” Umzingwane legislator, Brigadier General Retired Levi Mayihlome noted.
“It has immensely benefited us and this demonstrates what the President always says that no one and no place shall be left behind. This a testimony that this government preaches what it does because before this solar project was installed. There were occasions where the theatre would be operating under candle light so this project is a major step,” he said.
The Acting Provincial Medical Director for Matabeleland South province, Dr Norbert Singine said the new infrastructure is making it easier for health personnel to conduct their duties.
“What you have just witnessed in terms of the solar project and also some infrastructural developments is just a snapshot of what has been happening in the whole province. Mind you, we have seven districts in the province and of those, we have six districts that have new developments in terms of infrastructure that involve renovations of health facilities the wards themselves as well as pharmacies being built plus renovations,” noted Matabeleland South acting provincial medical director, Dr Norbert Singine.
“Most infrastructure was old and was disintegrating so these projects have actually come at a time where they are having a great impact in terms of service delivery. This has also improved how we provide ourselves in terms of health delivery.”
“If you look at the solar project which was started a few years back they are actually covering all the seven districts. At the district hospitals we have actually 40kva solar systems and the clinics are actually 5kva systems depending on the size that has actually assisted us in improving our service delivery system as you might know there is a push towards digitisation of the health system so the solar systems are coming in hand,” he added.
Since 2018, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has made significant achievements in the development of health infrastructure, a total of 47 health facilities were constructed and completed, 94 projects were renovated to completion, and a total of 1 074 health facilities were solarised.