Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday officially opened the country’s first paediatric orthopedic facility in the country’s second largest city, Bulawayo, state-owned Herald newspaper reported.
The Bulawayo Orthopedic Hospital is only the third such facility in the southern Africa region.
According to the Herald, the hospital will focus on treating for free, children below 18 years with severe deformities and referred for specialist attention from public hospitals.
Mnangagwa described the opening of the hospital as a “huge step” towards helping children in dire need of such medical attention.
“For too long, Zimbabwe’s children have suffered from poor access to orthopaedic healthcare,” Mnangagwa said.
The hospital administratively opened in January and a month later was fully licensed to begin its operations.
Mnangagwa also opened a COVID-19 isolation and treatment centre – the United Bulawayo Hospital also in Bulawayo – which is expected to boost the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The opening of the two facilities is a boost for a nation whose public health system has faced a number of challenges in recent years including several doctors’ strikes and shortages of medicine and equipment.
Mnangagwa had pledged to revamp health services and guarantee universal health coverage for all Zimbabweans.