HealthTalk: Masvingo Hospital upgrade boon for province

Masvingo Provincial Hospital, like Gweru Provincial Hospital, is touted as a teaching hospital of the Simon Mazorodze School of Medical and Health Sciences.

A health workforce forms the cornerstone of a solid health delivery system of every country among financing, governance, service delivery, information technologies and medicines according to the World Health Organisation’s 2007 building blocks.

Zimbabwe has trained highly-knowledgeable medical personnel that continue to be hunted down by many developed countries of the world.

The last few years have seen at least 5 000 nurses migrating to greener pastures with doctors, physiotherapists, pharmacists also following suit. The level of brain drain is catastrophic if it remains unabated.

The bottom line is that medical personnel is disgruntled because of uncompetitive remuneration, inadequate intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, lack of job development opportunities and the general toxic economic environments.

The Midlands province has been blessed with the establishment of a state-of-the art Gweru Provincial Hospital under the tutelage of Dr Fabian Mashingaidze.

Indeed, Gweru General Hospital is now a fully-fledged teaching hospital for medical students and it has also been accredited by regional training bodies like College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa, College of Anaesthesiologists of East, Central and Southern Africa and so far three specialists have already graduated.

The same hospital is accredited for performing the first total hip replacement at provincial status level on top of performing the first Caesarean Section to a pregnant woman suffering from Covid-19 at the height of the infectious disease outbreak.

The astute leadership shown by Dr Mashingaidze should be applauded by all progressive citizens as he and his team have demonstrated the importance of team work, innovation culture and patriotism.

Zimbabwe was known to be a highly literate country in the world with literacy rate of more than 90%.

The country has trained thousands of doctors since the first medical school was established in 1963 as an affiliate of the University of Birmingham.

Today, the country boasts of four medical schools, the latest edition being Simon Mazorodze School of Medical and Health Sciences in Masvingo under Great Zimbabwe University.

The medical school was officially opened by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in October 2022 and had its first intake of students in March 2023.

This is all cloying news for Masvingo and special appreciation should go to the pertinacious medical academic and dean, Professor Jacob Mufunda, who has played a very significant role in the health delivery system of this country as many doctors have passed through his hands as students.

The man has traversed virtually all the medical schools in Zimbabwe. He was at University of Zimbabwe, Midlands State University and now the first dean of medicine at GZU Simon Mazorodze School of Medical and Health Sciences.

Masvingo Provincial Hospital, like Gweru Provincial Hospital, is touted as a teaching hospital of the Simon Mazorodze School of Medical and Health Sciences.

What should now be prioritised is the upgrading and revamping of the hospital in a bid to accommodate as many specialists as possible who will include physicians, general surgeons, urologists, neurosurgeons, anaesthetists, cardiothoracic surgeons, gynaecologists, ENT surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, dentists.

All these special areas will be part and parcel of the students training. It is, thus, prudent that work be commenced at the hospital as a matter of urgency as students are now left with one year to start clinical teaching at the hospital.

The upgrading of Masvingo General Hospital will be sweet news not only for medical students, but also for Masvingo province as a whole.

Medical services that used to be sought in major cities will now be decentralised to Masvingo. That alone is a serious milestone that will save many lives.

Many surgical operations can be done at the general hospital, making it very efficient in terms of service delivery.

Health and development are symbiotic in nature and it is undeniable that development occurs when there is sound health.

The training of more doctors will help in reducing the doctor-patient ratio which stands at more than 1:7 000 in our country.

Let us all unite for the betterment of Masvingo. The medical school surely needs our support!

The lecturers are working flat hard to deliver the best to the prospective doctors.

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