Shipments of new medical devices ranging from basic hospital beds to sophisticated magnetic resonance imaging machines, backed by a $100 million Chinese loan, are arriving in Zimbabwe.
Representatives of China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), the contracted supplier, told Xinhua Friday that while the most sophisticated facilities will be installed at Harare and Bulawayo hospitals, more than 90 hospitals including smaller ones in rural areas and clinics across the country will receive some of the shipment.
“The equipment is of top quality, made by either world recognized manufacturers like Siemens Healthcare or first-class emerging Chinese medical device makers,” said CMEC representative Zhang Xin.
“With the aid of the equipment the health service of this country will improve; medical costs will be lowered and operation risks averted.”
According to CMEC, the contract was signed between the company and the Ministry of Health and Child Care in June 2009 with China Export and Import Bank as the financier.
The contract was put into force in June 2013 when the first loan was furnished. Around 11 shipments were scheduled from then to June 2015.
Zimbabwe once boasted of one of the best health sectors in southern Africa in the years after its independence in 1980.
But more than a decade of economic meltdown since the late 1990s eroded the once glorious health system, sending packs of professionals into economic exile.
China has aided Zimbabwe across fields. It has been dispatching medical teams to the country since 1986 and has sponsored the building of hospitals and clinics in rural areas.
The Chinese doctors in Zimbabwe said they were pained by the lack of adequate medical facilities.
Luan Hongliang, a doctor who has been working in Harare’s Parirenyatwa Hospital, said even in Harare there are very few computed tomography devices and even fewer magnetic resonance imaging machines. The supply of equipment from China came at the right time, he said.
Mugabe, who officially commissioned the equipment at Harare Central Hospital Thursday, thanked China for providing the loan.
He said the state-of-art facilities would contribute positively in retaining medical personnel who otherwise were frustrated by using out of date tools
PUBLISHED: 06/03/2015. By Xhinua
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