Pamela Shumba Senior Reporter
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday donated medical equipment, furniture and foodstuffs to resuscitate St Luke’s Mission Hospital’s Family and Child Health Division in Lupane that was gutted by fire in July.
Amai Mnangagwa, who is the country’s Ambassador for the Ministry of Health and Child Care as well as founder of Angel of Hope Foundation, replaced equipment and furniture worth thousands of dollars that was destroyed by the fire.
The donation coincided with the Matabeleland North provincial clean-up campaign.
The First Lady led the clean-up exercise at one of the paediatric wards and outside the hospital.
Speaking before handing over the equipment, Amai Mnangagwa said the division was a critical component of the hospital and it had to be revived.
“As Ambassador of health and child care, it’s my responsibility to see to it that health is accessible to the majority. We are all aware of the unfortunate incident on July 9, 2019 when our designate provincial hospital was gutted by fire. The greater part of the Family and Child Health Division was extensively damaged,” said Amai Mnangagwa.
She said the division was critical as it caters for services which include the expanded programme on immunisation of children, cervical cancer screening, antenatal care and post-natal care.
The division, said the First Lady, also caters for integrated management of neonatal and childhood illness, children’s clinic, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services and opportunistic infections (anti-retroviral) services.
She urged the hospital staff to take good care of the equipment and furniture so that it lasts long.
The First Lady said she was aware that the hospital caters for people from many districts in and out of Matabeleland North.
Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister Richard Moyo and Chief Mabhikwa expressed gratitude for the First Lady’s kind gesture saying the donation will greatly improve the hospital’s service delivery.
The hospital’s medical superintendent Dr Nigel Katandawa said St Luke’s Hospital was a critical institution covering a wide catchment area.
“Our provincial hospital is still under construction and St Luke’s is acting as a pseudo provincial hospital. We also treat and take care of people from outside the province such as Masvingo, Bulawayo, Gokwe and other areas. We’re catering for quite a large catchment area,” said Dr Katandawa.
He thanked the First Lady for the donation and said the destruction of the department seriously affected the provision of a number of services.
“We really want to thank the First Lady for her kind gesture. Our department, which caters for pregnant mothers, cervical cancer screening and children was destroyed by fire.
“We have been improvising, but due to the benevolence of the First Lady, we can now re-equip the department and fully provide the required services,” said Dr Katandawa.
He also thanked the First Lady for taking her time to be part of the clean-up campaign at the hospital.
Villagers in the area praised the First Lady and expressed gratitude for her kind gesture.
“We are really happy that the department, which was specially designed for women will now be in full swing, courtesy of our mother, Amai Mnangagwa. We thank her for this kind gesture,” said Ms Jabulule Lusinga from Mathambo resettlement area.
Ms Beatrice Ncube from St Luke’s said: “We appreciate the love and care that the First Lady has showed us. We now know that wherever she is she remembers our plight and makes an effort to address our problems. We are thankful.”
The handover ceremony was also attended by the Matabeleland North Provincial Coordinator Ms Latiso Dlamini, officials from Government departments and Lupane Local Board among others.