COVID-19: Sakunda Holdings receives 100 ventilators

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Tawanda Marwizi

Hospital equipment worth US$3m including 100 ventilators and protective clothing ordered by Sakunda Holdings will start arriving in Zimbabwe on Friday as the fuel company intensifies efforts to support Government in fighting COVID–19.

The other equipment will be coming into the country over the coming weeks as operations at two medical facilities – Rock Foundation and St Annes Hospital – are set to resume.

Sakunda Holdings is also working with a team of doctors led by Dr David Chimuka in the fight against the pandemic while more medical facilities in and outside Harare have been identified for the fight against the pandemic.

However, utilisation of new sites will be determined by government.

This follows an announcement earlier this week that Sakunda Holdings and the Seventh Day Adventist Community has tabled a multi-million dollar initiative to revive and equip St Anne’s Hospital and Rock Foundation Hospital.

According to the World Health Organization, at least 468 644 cases have been reported across the world with 22 323 deaths while 121 211 people have recovered from the disease.

According to an official from Sakunda Holdings, the equipment expected this Friday will come from China after payment was confirmed today.

“The equipment expected in the country includes 100 ventilators, 10 000 rapid testing kits, 5 000, 10 000 disposable protective gowns, 100 000 gloves, 100 000 disposable shoe covers, 50 000 goggles and 50 000 respiratory N95 masks,” the official said.

He said some of the equipment expected in the coming weeks include one million surgical masks, one million disposable caps, 40 000 litres of HTH disinfectant, 40 000litres of hand sanitiser, 100 infrared thermometers and 5 000 face shields among others.

“We are liasing with officials from government so that some of the equipment will be donated to Wilkins Hospital as we work to fight against the pandemic,” he said.

The official dismissed reports that the hospitals and equipment are for the elite as the facilities would be open to all Zimbabwen citizens.

“These hospitals will be meant for everyone and we will make sure it provides all the essentials for the public,” he said.

The two facilities; St Anne’s in Avondale and Rock Foundation in Mt Pleasant have been idle as both have been under judicial management. St Anne’s is a 164-bed hospital previously under the management of CAPS Holdings while CBZ recently took up ownership of Rock Foundation.

Negotiations are underway with management at St Annes hospital.

Sakunda is already in the process of seeking licences through the relevant authorities, such as Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe, Pharmacists Council and the Radiation Protection Authority.

St Anne’s has an Intensive Care Unit and surgery theatres as well as Radiology and ultrasound facilities and a laboratory. It also has oxygen supply facilities.

Rock Foundation has an Intensive Care Unit and Surgery Theatres, Radiology and ultrasound facilities, oxygen supply facilities as well as a laboratory.

According to a project document, the Sakunda Consortium has set up a taskforce with a mandate to immediately come up with a proposal on how the project will be implemented in the shortest possible time.

The taskforce comprises of a specialist cardia and thoracic Surgeon, ICU matron, anesthetist, pharmacist, a pediatric specialist, management consultant and an engineer.

It will also include the input of other stakeholders particularly in the Government and Security Forces.

The consortium is currently led by Dr Chimuka and Dr Everton Mlalazi.

In terms of key equipment,  specialized Personal Protective Equipment, will be imported from China and will arrive in Zimbabwe 12 days from the date when payment is made while ancillary supplies such as gloves, goggles and sanitizers are already in the country with local suppliers available to supply at short notice.

Sakunda requires support from the authorities to enable Chinese doctors, who have the experience in dealing with the COVID virus and currently in the country to train local doctors.

The consortium is also seeking waivers on duties, taxes, and red tape on the importation of COVID intervention equipment, vaccines and all related resources as well as the speedy approval for medical use of facilities through the registering/regulatory authorities.

They are also seeking permission to urgently import chloroquine.

Sakunda also requested official communication channel with key government officials and departments which are critical for the guidance and smooth implementation of this plan.

 

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