THE Ministry of Health and Child Care has taken over the 32-year-old Father O’Hea Mission Hospital in Zvimba from Jesuits who pulled out and has since upgraded it to a general hospital in the public sector.
Zvimba South legislator Philip Chiyangwa facilitated the upgrade of the 120-bed mission hospital. Before the Jesuits pulled out from the hospital’s affairs, it was one the best institution in the Zvimba district, being the first to offer HIV treatment services including CD4 count tests.
In recent years, the hospital deteriorated in standards as lack of financial support constrained service delivery, and it was now relying heavily on well-wishers.
Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro announced that the government had taken over the affairs of the hospital.
“We have come to look at the hospital, which used to be run by missionaries who have since pulled out,” he said. “As the government, we have taken over the affairs of the hospital. We have seen it fit to upgrade the hospital to a general hospital and on this tour, we saw that a lot of renovations are needed and my Ministry has availed $50 million and work starts now.”
The upgrade, he said, was going to de-congest hospitals in Harare.
Health specialists are expected to be based at the hospital in line with the Government’s mantra of leaving no place or person behind and Zvimba Rural District Council will be asked for land for the construction of staff accommodation and the hospital’s subsequent expansion.
“The upgrade of this hospital from a rural mission hospital to a general hospital which will be equipped with state-of-the-art medical facilities, as well as specialist medical personnel will help to de-congest Parirenyatwa and Harare hospitals since it’s near Harare and the hospital is now known as Father O’Hea General Hospital,” Dr Mangwiro said.
“A proposal to establish a primary health care nurse training school has been made, and the school will benefit the local community. As a ministry, we no longer expect medical personnel to travel to Harare for training upgrade, but the training will be done at their health stations.” The hospital is faced with several challenges, including lack of access to clean potable water. Dr Chiyangwa has been donating drugs to the hospital. “We received reports that some of the things were being stolen from this institution, including medicines that I have been bringing for the hospital, but now I hope things will improve after the Ministry of Health and Child Care has taken over the hospital,” he said. *Herald*