ADDRESS BY THE MINISTER DR. J. McD. GUMBO, MP:THE C-ARM HANDOVER TO HARARE HOSPITAL

ADDRESS BY THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT DR. J. McD. GUMBO, MP

AT THE OCASSION OF THE C-ARM HANDOVER TO HARARE HOSPITAL

HARARE, 22ND FEBRUARY 2018

Minister of Health and Child Care – Dr. Parirenyatwa;

TSCZ Chairman Mr. Mugabe and other Board Members;

TCSZ General Manager – Mr. Chinyere;

Harare Central Hospital CEO – Mrs. Zvavamwe;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Comrades and Friends

I am delighted to have been invited to this occasion where the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) is donating a state of the art BV Endura Phillips C-arm Image Intensifier to Harare Central Hospital.

The donation by the TSCZ is in response to an urgent call by medical professionals who have been operating without this essential tool for more than ten years after the old machine had become unserviceable. It is indisputable that this hospital is at the forefront of receiving complicated fractures resulting from road accidents from around the country and within greater Harare. I am informed that the hospital has been facing difficulties operating on these patients without this essential piece of equipment. The only other machine available is at Parirenyatwa Hospital where patients had to be transferred.

 

I am informed that the C-arm, which takes its name from the shape of its working tool, is essential for surgeons. I am also informed that this machine will enable the surgeon to see a medical video of what he or she is doing inside the body of a patient through a very small incision. This improves accuracy, safety and reduces operating time. It also reduces operating costs and the stay of patients in hospital.

 

The TSCZ which falls under my Ministry, is at the forefront of promoting road traffic safety in order to reduce carnage on our roads. They educate Zimbabweans on road safety and conduct defensive driving courses. TSCZ has spent and continues to spend thousands of dollars to replace perimeter fencing along our major highways in order to eliminate accidents involving stray animals.

Ladies and Gentlemen, despite these valiant efforts, we continue to witness road accidents. Currently 5 people are killed and forty are injured per day on our roads and the number is increasing. On the 7thof June 2017 we were alerted to the terrible news that 43 people had died on the spot at Nyamakate on the 275km peg along the Harare-Chirundu highway.

 

 

I mention it because a detailed report compiled by the receiving hospitals in Karoi, Chinhoyi and Harare illustrated clearly what needs to be done to reduce deaths resulting from accidents. The little-known clinic at Nyamakate with just ten beds and two nurses took the brunt of the first wave of the mass casualties in the dead of the night. The injured and the dead were later transferred to Karoi then Chinhoyi and thereafter Parirenyatwa Hospital and Harare Hospital for the complicated cases.

 

The medical profession makes it very clear that the first hour after an accident is critical for the survival of accident victims. First responders are often ill-prepared passers-by with no medical skills but very willing to assist.

 

It is with this in mind that the government has decided to introduce the Road Accident Fund. The nationwide consultations to gauge the people’s views have been completed. South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland run very viable and practical fuel-based road accident funds that cater exclusively for persons who are injured or die in road accidents.

 

I need to emphasise that in its final form the Road Accident Fund will need close cooperation between the Ministry of Transport, Health, Finance and Home Affairs. The broad objectives are to fund a national accident report centre which is open 24 hours a day and is toll-free on all networks and coordinates accident response wherever they occur. The fund also seeks to establish a network of adequately stocked primary accident centres with ambulances and well-trained staff around the country.

 

The donation by the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe is indeed welcome since it will go a long way in assisting victims of road accidents. I would like to pay tribute to the Chairman, Board members, CEO and staff of the TSCZ who through their efforts made this donation possible.

 

I thank you.

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