BY METHEMBE SIBANDA
ZIMBABWE today received 10 ambulances and ancillary equipment from Japan and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to strengthen obstetric and neonatal care in COVID-19 hotspots across the country.
Japan donated 70 iced lined vaccine fridges, 80 solar direct drive fridges, 130 standard cold boxes, and 499 vaccines carriers while UNFPA donated 10 ambulances.
Speaking during a handover ceremony held at National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm), Deputy Health and Child Care minister John Mangwiro said the donations were essential in the fight against COVID-19.
“The various commodities we are receiving today are essential in combating COVID-19. The donation is a key component in treatment of COVID-19 and will go a long way in the treatment and management of patients diagnosed with the disease,” Mangwiro said.
The donation is valued at US$665 817.
Mangwiro said beneficiaries of the donation will include central hospitals, infectious diseases hospitals and all provincial hospitals.
Japan Ambassador to Zimbabwe Satoshi Tanaka said: “With the rise in maternal and perinatal deaths seen since the start of this health crisis, this project is expected to improve the provision of maternal healthcare services.
“It includes the procurement of medical equipment and expendable supplies to manage obstetric emergencies and prevent and control infection, including PPE. It also includes the provision of new ambulances to decrease delays in transportation of expectant mothers and the training of maternity care providers.”