CHITUNGWIZA Central Hospital was built by the government of the republic of Zimbabwe and construction was finished in 1984 when it immediately opened its doors to the community on December 24 1984.
Report by Elizabeth Ndhlovu-Dumbreni Reporter
It was officially opened by the then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe on November 6 1986 at a glitzy ceremony held at the hospital.
The hospital’s chief executive officer Obadiah Moyo said before the hospital commenced operations, Chitungwiza was served by four Municipal Clinics run by the local authority that referred patients to Harare Central Hospital and Parirenyatwa Hospital.
Most patients did not access emergency health services at that time and to address this scenario, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare built the hospital, with the provision of offering quality and uncompromised health becoming the hospital’s prime mandate.
Chitungwiza Central Hospital is situated in Chitungwiza, about 30 kilometres south east of Harare and has a hospital bed occupancy of 400 in an ever-growing large catchment area which stretches as far as Chitungwiza urban with a population of well over 1,5 million inhabitants. The hospital aslo caters for neighbouring areas such as Epworth, Ruwa, Chihota, Seke rural, Marondera, and Mashonaland East province with an estimated population of more than four million inhabitants, though some patients from Harare and other parts of the country at large seek to receive their medical attention at Chitungwiza Hospital.
The hospital, Moyo said, provides surgical, medical and dental care to the community.
It also provides maternal and child health care programmes, specialised fields like radiology, clinical diagnostics, laboratory analysis and rehabilitation.
The hospital has a successful school of nursing with graduates in general nursing and state certified nursing, medical laboratory technicians, midwives and clinical officers and has had a total number of — nurses graduating from its school, a number we are so proud of.
Some of the hospital’s success stories are as follows:
- 1985 — The hospital started training State Certified Maternity Nurses
- 1986 — The Hospital was officially opened by President Robert Mugabe
- 1990-Training of Registered General Nurses (RGN) and State Certified Midwives was introduced phasing out State Certified Maternity Nurses
- 1997- Chitungwiza Hospital was awarded the Baby Friendly Initiative Award which supports breastfeeding of mothers in maternity wards, children’s wards, and the community at large.
- 1999- The hospital commemorated safe motherhood, and a baby show was hosted as a seal of approval for this noble cause.
- 1999- Registered General Nurse Patience Mafuwe from our hospital was nominated and awarded The Margolis Nurse of the year award
- 2001- The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was opened which serves critically ill patients.
- 2003- The Prevention Of Parent To Child Transmission (PPTCT) of HIV was started
- 2004- Opportunistic Infection Clinic (OIC) was opened and the hospital started administering ARV drugs to HIV positive patients.
- 2005- Hospital hosted the leprosy day launch
- 2005- A new laundry project for the hospital was commissioned and is still working.
- 2006- Chitungwiza General Hospital was upgraded to a Central Hospital
- 2006- Training of SCMLTS and clinical officers was introduced at the hospital
- 2006- Chitungwiza resident musicians raise funds for the hospital which is an annual event
- 2008- The hospital attained ISO Certification of 9001:2000, becoming the first health institution to attain such an achievement
- 2008-Steam radio was launched in some wards to provide our patients with light entertainment and a Sunday church service offered by different pastors from different churches to provide the much needed spiritual needs of our patients during their time of recuperation at the hospital and also to a committee of pastors from different church denominations was formed to raise funds for the hospital.
• 2010- The hospital celebrated World Mental Health Day
• 2011- Hosted the Bright Journey Eye camp where more than 1 000 patients with cataracts and various eye problems benefited from this program
• 2011- Sunscreen lotion creams were given free of charge to albinos from the community
• 2011- Sally Mugabe Renal Institute named after the late first lady Amai Sally Mugabe was commissioned to cater for patients with kidney or renal failure who need renal dialysis
• 2011- The hospital’s laboratory won an award for being one of the best ran labs in the country
• 2011- Hosted the Alliance for Smiles programme which benefited more than 100 children born with cleft lip and palate
• 2011- First group of Junior Resident Medical Officers was deployed at the hospital
• 2011- Refurbishment of the hospital started which included the casualty ward, main reception desk, tiling of the whole hospital and the mortuary was successfully completed in the same year
• 2011- The hospital embarked on an on-going computerisation programme and introduced an internet global village for research purposes and internet access to our staff and patients.
• 2011- E- Government programme was introduced and the hospital was chosen as a pilot project
• 2011- Private wards were introduced with state of the art equipment
“Attaining the ISO Certification was the single greatest award which we maintained to date. We do have professional and general staff shortages in various departments though we have a staff compliment of 1 300 as we continue to experience a high patient turnover at the hospital and currently we have 18 locally trained doctors, seven expatriate doctors and a modest 11 junior resident medical officers, The hospital has had expatriate doctors from all over the world which includes countries like China, DRC, Korea, Cuba, India and United Kingdom and we have at the moment doctors from Cuba and DRC,” he said.
Moyo said the hospital, like any organisation had challenges which are not unique to Chitungwiza Central Hospital, only but always cope with huge demands in HIV, Aids and TB programmes.
“We have an Opportunistic Infections Clinic (OIC) on site which caters for people living with HIV and Aids and is open from Monday to Friday and our staff in the annex (Isolation) ward were trained in management of HIV and TB. The hospital gets drugs and support from Aids and TB global programmes initiated by the government. A special TB clinic is also open every Thursday and a special Pediatrics clinic also opens every Tuesday respectively,” said Moyo.
He said there was an urgent need to expand the hospital to meet the ever increasing number of patients and also a good number of professionals is needed i.e. doctors, nurses, clinical officers, laboratory technicians, accommodation of staff to attend to our mandate of offering quality health to the community.
“We appeal to corporates to partner the hospital in this awesome cause. Efforts to develop a medical village, build a maternity hospital, OIC, Children wards and also partnering with other universities, medical research organisations locally, regionally, and internationally in training of other health sciences are at an advanced stage, we also endeavor to engage in Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the not so distant future,” he said.
“The perennial and erratic water suppliers the town council faces does affect the hospital though we have a number of boreholes sank at the hospital to arrest the situation and not to mention erratic electricity power suppliers which are a major concern does affect the smooth running of the hospital at times.”
“In view of these achievements, that I have mentioned, we find it prudent to celebrate 25 years of national service to this country by hosting and embarking on a Chitungwiza Central Hospital Silver Jubilee Celebration programme for such an excellent performance for the past 25 years which had many challenges which the hospital its management and staff overcame. I am happy to say that we overcame and we are proud of this record and offer no apologises what so ever.
We will be launching our Silver Jubilee Celebrations programme in September with an exhibition of all our suppliers, NGOs, government ministries, partners and other stakeholders will be hosted at this hospital on the official launch day and celebrations will be a year in duration with a special event to commemorate the silver jubilee celebrations every month from then on.
Chitungwiza Central Hospital management and staff appeal to the corporates and the community at large to sponsor this noble cause to make it a success. I thank you, Moyo said.
Tel +263 4 773930-8 Fax +263 4 773854 Cell +263 733 573 700
No 1 Union Avenue, 1st Block, 3rd Floor, Harare