COMMENT: Avail more resources for Ekusileni to operate at full throttle Ekusileni Medical Centre

Sixty first-year School of Medicine students at the National University of Science and Technology have started classes at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Ekusileni Hospital. 

The students are studying for a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery under the university’s Faculty of Medicine. Dr Nkomo should be smiling in his grave because his wishes are being fulfilled. 

This is the first stage of Government’s programme to transform the hospital into a specialist training and research school under Nust in fulfilment of Dr Nkomo’s dream. When Dr Nkomo advocated for the construction of the 200-bed hospital, he wanted it to provide specialist medical care. 

Dr Nkomo did not want Zimbabweans to be forced to seek specialist medical services outside the country hence he pushed for the construction of this hospital. The US$4 million hospital whose construction was funded by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), was unfortunately a white elephant for 17 years until its opening in 2021 as a Covid-19 health facility. The state-of-the-art medical facility whose construction was completed in 2001, operated for just seven months before it was closed in 2004 after it was discovered that the acquired equipment worth millions of dollars, was obsolete. 

National Social Security Authority

The hospital has since been renamed after Dr Nkomo in order to keep the legacy of Father Zimbabwe alive given his commitment to the establishment of this specialist hospital. The students who are attending classes at the hospital are the first to be enrolled after the Nust Faculty of Medicine was granted medical school status last year. 

The Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Ekusileni Hospital is meant to serve not only Zimbabwe but the entire Southern African region. When the hospital operates at full throttle providing specialist medical care, the number of Zimbabweans seeking such services outside the country will be drastically reduced. 

Many Zimbabweans are seeking specialist treatment in countries such as South Africa, Namibia, India, United Kingdom, US and Russia but most of the specialist doctors working in those countries are Zimbabweans. This is a confirmation that Zimbabwe has the required expertise and we commend NSSA for providing the required infrastructure through this hospital. 

We want at this juncture to implore Government to avail more resources to Nust to enable the completion of the project to transform the hospital into a specialist training and research school. This will bring specialist health care services closer to the people which was Dr Nkomo’s wish.

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