TRAUMA Centre and Hospital in Harare has established the first orthopaedic implant centre that will treat patients requiring hip or knee replacement surgeries, it has been learnt.
This came as thousands of patients from Zimbabwe have been travelling to South Africa, Malawi and India to undergo the surgery over the years.
The health institution yesterday pledged to perform hip or knee replacements of two people per province for free within the 12 months as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.
It is understood that the medical institution will work with hospitals throughout the country in identifying disadvantaged patients to benefit from the programme.
Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa, who launched the implant centre in Harare yesterday, hailed the Trauma Centre for coming up with the facility and its pledge to perform the procedures across the country.
“I commend you for pledging to have two operations per province free of charge. This is the right thing to do and there are many patients who want hip and knee replacements,” Parirenyatwa said. “With this facility in place there is no need for people to go to South Africa and Malawi, which I understand is the cheapest at the moment in the region as it is doing the operations at a cost of $9 000.”
Trauma Centre will perform the surgery for $11 000.
The health institution is led by Zimbabwean Vivek Solanki, a medical doctor with 25 years of experience in women’s wellness, emergency care, airport clinics and travel vaccinations.
Solanki has worked for the past 23 years in South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania among other countries.
Yesterday, Solanki said as a Zimbabwean he was committed to play his part in improving health delivery in the country and would soon launch a programme of mobile health outreach exercises in rural areas.
“We are Zimbabweans. Born here, educated here and this is our home. In 1994, Dr Timothy Stamps (then Health minister, now health advisor in the President’s Office), asked me to come from the Diaspora and provide the same medical services here and I came. But there are always detractors . . . as they say evil always tries to follow good. However, we say aluta continua (the struggle continues),” he said in apparent reference to the legal wrangle over ownership of Trauma Centre and Hospital.