Econet’s Strive Masiyiwa has donated 45 full Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ventilator suites to be distributed to Zimbabwe’s public hospitals.
BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
The country has been facing a severe shortage of ventilators which are key in managing patients with Covid-19.
Zimbabwe is not the only country which has been struggling to secure the life saving equipment which cost from $15,000 up to $100,000 each. Globally countries have raised concerns over lack of these machines which are critical in patients struggling to breath on their own.
The death of broadcaster Zororo Makamba exposed just how ill prepared and under resourced the country really was and stakeholders including Masiyiwa have been making frantic efforts to beef up the country’s reserves.
The telecommunications mogul has has been also been involved in an initiative which is focused on lobbying African governments to mitigate against the impact of the epidemic, which has so far claimed over 64 000 lives and infected 1.2 million others globally.
Speaking on the ventilators Masiyiwa said these were not something that could just be produced because of the technology and the supply of parts for it.
There are however some local institutions like the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) who have been making efforts to produce the equipment using available resources and material.
“Since Higher Life Foundation Zimbabwe is run by a medical doctor, they have been trying to get some of this equipment, which costs from $15,000 up to $100,000 each,”
The foundation, working with some donor partners then secured 45 full ICU Ventilator suites for distribution to Zimbabwe’s public hospitals.
They will be shipped before the end of the month.
“This is a drop in the bucket, in terms of actual requirement, so I hope groups like mining companies, bottling groups, banks and others will follow our example,” said Masiyiwa.
He also called on business leaders and entrepreneurs in every African country to come together, and set up funds to buy this life-saving equipment.
“Don’t just wait for governments,” he said.