BY KENNETH MATIMAIRE Africa Ahead, a non-profit organisation, has embarked on a US$450,000 project to spruce up 25 healthcare facilities in three selected districts in the eastern border province as part of its efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19.
The project will see Africa Ahead with support from Unicef and Action Against Hunger (ACF), repair and rehabilitate water and sanitation facilities at medical centres across the districts.
The three beneficiary districts include, Mutare, Chimanimani and Chipinge rural district councils (RDCs).
According to Africa Ahead executive director Regis Matimati said Mutare RDC wasthe biggest beneficiary with 13 healthcare facilities that are expected to be given a facelift.
Chimanimani has seven while Chipinge has five medical facilities that will be rehabilitated.
Matimati said the exercise is carried out under the Solarisation of Clinics Project.
“Africa Ahead with funding from Unicef in partnership with ACF are rehabilitating health care facilities in Mutare, Chipinge and Chimanimani districts in a grand valued at US$425,000.
“The project is rehabilitating water and sanitation infrastructure, waste water and sanitation systems, training of health care staff on operations and maintenance, sustainability as well as infection prevention and control, said Africa Ahead executive director Regis Matimati.
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Matimati said the project will ensure that healthcare providers have access to safe hand washing water between patients for their safety and that of the patients.
He added that the project was initiated as it emerged that most healthcare providers were unable to adequately and expeditiously carry out their duties as their facilities could not provide water – a critical component in the fight against Covid-19.
The organisation will install solar power as a back-up source of energy to pump water, as well as setting up water storage facilities and tubing all clinics rooms at the shortlisted centres to provide easily accessible hand washing running water.
Africa ahead has since signed a memorandum of understanding with Mutare RDC, and would see the project implemented within the next six months.
“We signed an MOU with Mutare RDC, where we are going to spruce up 13 healthcare facilities in order for them to meet the minimum requirements for the nurses to be able to wash their hands.
“For Mutare RDC only the project is financed to the tune of US$170,000,” said Matimati.
Mutare RDC chief executive officer Shepherd Chinaka referred questions to the district health officer, who could not be reached for comment.
However, some of the benefiting healthcare facilities that were provided by Mutare RDC include Gutaurare, Chishingwi, Chipendeke, Mavhizha, Zvipiriri and Dora clinics among others.