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Sakunda Holdings responds to COVID-19 fight assistance call

by Simbarashe Mwandipendaa
26 Mar 2020 at 08:06hrs | Views
Sakunda Holdings has come up with a multi-million dollar initiative to resuscitate and re-equip Rock Foundation Medical Centre and St Annes Hospital in an effort to assist government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, the disease has killed nearly 21 000 people and infected more than 460 000 around the world.

The virus has so far claimed the life of one person in Zimbabwe, Zororo Makamba, the son of telecommunications mogul James Makamba.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has made a passionate plea to the private sector to assist government in the fight against the dreaded killer virus. The two facilities which have been identified by Sakunda Holdings – Rock Foundation Medical Centre and St Annes Hospital – have been idle for long and will be used for COVID-19 responses only.

Sakunda Holdings says the medical facilities will be open to everyone.

"It's utter lies that the medical facilities will only cater for government and Zanu PF bigwigs. We have heard the call for assistance and we have taken the initiative to step in and assist. We are all Zimbabweans. This disease can affect everyone, regardless of political affiliation," an official with the firm said while visiting the facilities Wednesday morning.

"If everything goes according to plan, one of the facilities will be operational by Wednesday next week." Already, skeletal staff is now at work at Rock Foundation and will reportedly be working with local medical experts and specialists to identify what is needed.

The official said negotiations were underway with management at St Annes Hospital amid indications that the company is ready to foot all the refurbishment bills. A letter from Sakunda Holdings to Health secretary Agnes Mahomva seeking relevant licences to operate the hospitals indicated that the firm desired to assist government in fighting coronavirus.

"The Government of Zimbabwe has implemented a raft of measures to curb and control the outbreak of the disease, albeit under tough economic circumstances. It is against this background that Sakunda Holdings (Pvt) Ltd and its associates have come up with a private initiative to complement government efforts to curb this pandemic, specifically in the provision of health facilities, equipment, training and vaccines. Sakunda has identified Rock Foundation Medical Centre as a facility in the fight against COVID-19," the letter, signed by Everton Mlalazi, in charge of special projects at Sakunda Holdings, read. Sakunda prayed for Mahomva's office to expedite its applications "in view of the urgency required to deal with the pandemic."

"Licences will be sought from the following bodies: Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe, Pharmacists Council, Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe, Medical and Dental Council of Zimbabwe and Health Professions Authority," Mlalazi said.

Mahomva wrote to St Annes' Hospital manager expressing satisfaction following a tour by Health ministry officials and Sakunda executives at the health facility.

"The team was satisfied with what they saw during the tour and we would like you to finalise our request. Please note that we have since identified Sakunda Holdings (copied) to be our partner to work with us and yourselves to do all the remaining renovations and refurbishments necessary for the hospital to function in the shortest period of time," she wrote.

"Sakunda Holdings has confirmed that they have the resources and funding to do the work and, hence, refurbishments will not be at your costs. May you also note, as discussed during the tour of your hospital,l our request to use this facility for up to six months only for the COVID-19 response." Sakunda Holdings says it will use its resources in supporting government in the provision of health facilities, equipment, training of medical personnel and vaccines.

Source - Byo24News