Harare, (New Ziana) –The Japanese governments on Wednesday extended a US$2.75 million (300 million Japanese Yen) grant to Zimbabwe for the provision of critical state of the art equipment for the Harare Hospital Children’s Unit.
Japan has been involved with the Harare Children Hospital from the very beginning and in partnership with Canada, funded its construction in 1996 through a US$12 million grant.
The latest grant will see the hospital’s paediatric unit getting among others, top of the range equipment such as portable X-ray systems,
operation and examination equipment, intensive care unit monitors, ultrasound scope and artificial resuscitators.
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube (picutred second from left) and Japanese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Toshyuki Iwado (second from right)signed the grant on behalf of their governments.
Iwado said the project “will benefit those of the most vulnerable groups of society, namely the children and mothers.”
“Japan has been consistent in its support for Zimbabwe to achieve universal health coverage,” he said.
“We believe for Zimbabwe to achieve further development in a sustainable manner, the strengthening of the health sector is vitally important.”
Prof Ncube, who lauded Japan for its continued support for Zimbabwe through funding various infrastructure projects, said the government would avail US$5 million for Harare Hospital under its 90-day rapid plan targeted at improving conditions at all major hospitals.
“This support, which aims to revamp the hospital, will assist in reducing the infant mortality rate, as well as providing health care to mothers and their children,” he said.
“The intervention by the government of Japan is in line with our national priorities as enunciated in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.”
An excited Harare Central Hospital chief executive, Dr Tinashe Dobbie said the assistance would cement the institution’s reputation as the biggest and only centre capable of dealing with complex paediatric cases.
Harare Hospital was constructed in 1958 and currently provides beds for 242 patients but has a design capacity of 350 beds.