Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo became the latest beneficiary of collaborative Corporate Social Investment (CSI) by Telone and Netone through a fully furnished 35-bed ward and an installed borehole funded to the tune of $5.2 million which were unveiled recently.
Deputy Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Dingumuzi Phuti who was standing for his Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said both Telone and Netone equally contributed money towards the project aimed at capacitating public health institutes.
“Both entities resolved to collaborate as State Owned Entities in the Telecoms Sector on a 50/50 Joint COVID-19 Mitigation CSI Initiative ($5 million dollars each), and put together a combined total of $10 million towards both the immediate needs as well as medium to long term projects that seek to capacitate our public health facilities accordingly,” said Dr Muswere in a speech read on his behalf by his Deputy Honourable Phuti.
In his acceptance speech, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro spoke highly of the intervention by the two telecoms companies in this CoVID-19 era towards revamping the health delivery system.
“I speak glowingly of the intervention we have witnessed here at Mpilo in the context and background of the expansiveness of the projects that the two entities have embarked on to support our Ministry since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The hard work I have witnessed here today is most pleasing especially as it depicts how collaborative effort can easily help us to rebuild and capacitate health facilities countrywide. This is certainly the way to go if indeed we want to achieve more and get our health system back on track,” said the Deputy Minister of Health.
Having seen the good work done by Telone and Netone, Dr Mangwiro appealed to the rest of the corporate world and donors to follow suit and improve infrastructure at public hospitals.
“My appeal today is for other corporates and donors to consider structuring their Corporate Social Responsibility deliberately targeted to improve our public hospitals as access to health is a core indicator of development in any country. The call is even urgent now more than ever in view of this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr Mangwiro.
Netone Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Chipo Jaisson pointed out that they saw it fit to chip in focusing on building capacity in order to combat COVID-19 and even going beyond this pandemic.
“Not only are we investing in the preservation of human kind by actively joining the fight against COVID-19, but contributing towards capacitating public health facilities for the greater good of our nation.
“We understand that the current state of our public health care sector, impacts on their ability and level of preparedness to deal with such a pandemic, which is why we saw it fit as business to offer the necessary financial support to ensure that we effectively built capacity during and past COVID-19,” said Ms Jaisson.
“We are confident that the newly refurbished and modernised ward being unveiled today, will make our public health facilities more appealing and allow them to accommodate more patients in a clean and aesthetic environment, as well as provide affordable health care to the general populace that may not be able to access private health care,” said the Netone CEO.
Telone Managing Director, Mrs Chipo Mutasa said that this handover marks the conclusion of their CSI and that they have managed to renovate wards, providing equipment, clean drinking water and personal protective equipment (PPE).
“We came for the handover ceremony to mark the conclusion of the projects we committed to a few months ago. It is indeed humbling for us to realise the impact of what began as a very small idea which evolved to see a whole 35-bed ward transforming, a borehole and tanks in place and all the ward furniture and equipment being mobilised,” said Mrs Mutasa.
The two companies adopted Ward 5B which they equipped with 35 beds, new linen, patient monitors, oxygen tanks and curtains. The renovations also included retiling, purchase of new tubs, sinks and taps, new lighting and repainting.
The event was also graced by Minister of State and Devolution for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province Honourable Judith Ncube, Permanent Secretary of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Dr. Eng. S. Kundishora and Acting Chief Executive Officer Mpilo Hospital, Professor Solwayo Ngwenya.
Telone and Netone also adopted a ward at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital which was commissioned on 28 August 20