Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Senior Health Reporter
ONE year ago, the Government pledged to renovate four staff residences at Mpilo Hospital and injected a cumulative $550 million.
To date, two staff residences have been completed, two are at 85 percent completion while one whose construction started last year is at 25 percent.
In what can be termed a milestone achievement at the public hospital to be completed on record time, the whole project is set to be completed by August 31 this year.
So far, Mpilo has a balance of $48 million from the funds set to purchase the material needed to complete the project.
Government first injected $350 million into Mpilo renovations last year in June when the biggest doctor’s residence was reduced to ashes due to an electric fault.
This was the third fire incident at the public health institution in three years.
In 2018, another Mpilo doctors’ residence was gutted by fire and property worth US$300 000 was lost.
Another incident was recorded in June 2019 when a doctor slept, leaving his heater on, which resulted in a fire that destroyed all household property.
The 1 000-bed public hospital serves Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Matabeleland North and South, Midlands and Masvingo provinces.
Government then resolved to renovate the three buildings and the nurses’ home, which was also dilapidated.
Mpilo acting chief executive officer, Professor Solwayo Ngwenya, said everything was on track.
“We’re grateful that we are making progress in terms of burnt building structures.
Remember the last building was burnt last year.
It’s been a year since we started on these renovations and we have done so much in record time,” said Prof Ngwenya.
“We have had a strong and dedicated team made out of the prisons’ services, army, police and public works.
They have made tremendous progress.
They have completed the DQ and White House a while ago and we are now working on the three buildings.
“The staff residence, which was destroyed last year had the greatest damage but I am glad to say it is now 85 percent complete.
“We also spent some time on this building doing partitions to modernise the building and so much progress has been made.”
Prof Ngwenya said the H Flat, which was started from scratch is at 25 percent completion but will be done by the end of August this year.
“We are thankful to the Government for its commitment to this project.
Honestly, we wouldn’t be here had it not been for the Government,” he said.
“Last year we got $350 million.
We are still left with $48 million, which we hope will complete our work by August 31,” he said.
“We have managed to achieve all this with our highly dedicated team hence this tremendous progress.
Some projects have taken years to complete but with just a year we have managed to work on our staff residences, this is commendable.”
The team involved in the project includes members of the police, army, prison services and the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.
He said the residences will go a long way in accommodating healthcare workers at Mpilo including junior doctors, who will soon be deployed to the public institution.
“So, these buildings, which are almost complete will ease our accommodation crisis we currently have as a hospital,” said Prof Ngwenya.
“We are happy because once our health workers have accommodation, they will be able to provide quality healthcare services to our people thereby saving lives.”