Recognising trailblazing medical practitioners

Our clinics and hospitals remained open during the time of COVID-19, monkey pox, the measles outbreak and currently the Cholera outbreak.

THE medical sector is one of the most important sectors in the development of every country in the world. It is undeniable that health and development are symbiotic in nature and a healthy nation has the potential for economic development. There is no one who can perform their duties well when their physical health is not sound hence the need to recognise the importance of all health workers in the country.

Zimbabwe continues to lose thousands of healthcare workers to greener pastures, with countries such as England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand being the main beneficiaries. Our country has remained a training ground for healthcare workers who cross borders to other countries because of poor working conditions, poor remuneration and bizarre government policies. 

The country is lucky to have some patriotic medical practitioners who have stood the test of time because they continue to execute their duties despite the tribulations along the way. Both public and private medical practitioners have stood tall against some of the deadliest diseases that include the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Our clinics and hospitals remained open during the time of COVID-19, monkey pox, the measles outbreak and currently the Cholera outbreak.January 19 saw many comrades converging at the Harare International Conference Centre where  the Zimbabwe Community Trailblazers Awards ceremony was being held. 

For many years, medical practitioners have been left out of national recognition such as awards because some people did not value the contribution of the health sector. Perfection Media defied all odds and included accolades for the health practitioners who are excelling in championing community and national development. It is not the fanciness of the infrastructure one has, but the societal benefits that one brings. There are medical practitioners who have been very active on matters of corporate social responsibility which include philanthropic work.

Many are donating to communities, sponsoring some learners’ education, delivering free medical care to communities especially the vulnerable members of society. If everyone realises the importance of corporate social responsibility, our country wil never be the same.

Vivek Solanki is the cornerstone of innovation in medical business. He has state-of-the-art facilities at his Trauma Centre in Borrowdale, Harare. The man has worked hard to put Zimbabwe on the medical map as he tries to upscale medical tourism in the country. Solanki has for long been longing to have some pieces of medical legislation thrown away. 

Advertising in medicine has been a criminal offence since time immemorial and many doctors have been dragged to disciplinary hearing for flouting the advertising law. In many cases, what is sometimes said to be advertising is not actually advertising but just a way of notifying the public about the medical services that are available at a particular institution. The Health and Child Care minister, Douglas Mombeshora, has been apprised of such developments by the Medical and Dental Private Practitioners Association of Zimbabwe.

There should surely be quick amendment to the piece of legislation that talks of advertising. Medieval laws should be repealed in this era and age where there is advanced technology and multiple social media platforms.

Many other health practitioners were honoured at HICC, among them Nyasha Masuka, a renowned doctor who has sacrificed most of his time for the betterment of the medical industry,

Sister Veronica Zimunhu, a veteran nurse who founded Queen of Peace Hospital at a time when it was taboo for nurses to establish such, Professor Jacob Mufunda, an academic par excellence who has trained thousands of doctors in the country and current Dean of Medicine at GZU Simon Mazorodze School of Medical and Health Sciences. The medical industry continues to shine by the day and it was indeed a befitting honour to have such comrades at the prestigious awards ceremony at HICC.

The country should know that those who contribute to the growth of Zimbabwe deserve to be remembered. With unity, we will achieve more.

Johannes Marisa is president of the Medical and Dental Private Practitioners Association of Zimbabwe. He writes here in his personal capacity.

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