Plans are afoot to re-open Richard Morris Children’s Hospital at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) with up to US$200 000 required to procure medical equipment and refurbish the hospital that has been closed since 2008.
The 44-bed hospital closed at the height of economic problems in 2008 after the managing paediatrician left the country to seek greener pastures.
Operations manager Richard Sithole said they now had a new paediatrician on site while another was set to join the hospital after they complete their studies.
“The hospital is ready to be re-opened anytime from now provided we get the medical equipment. Medical staff is now available, refurbishment of the department has been completed, that is, painting, tiling, plumbing and electrical works,” said Sithole.
He also said gas piping of the department was at 70 percent completion and was likely to be commissioned by the end of the year. The hospital was also installing a new elevator to the three-storey hospital that was likely to be commissioned by the first quarter of 2020.
Sithole said some of the required medical equipment included beds, linen, food stools, wheelchairs, incubators, oxygen tanks, thermometers, drip stands among a full list of more than 80 essentials.
“We have acquired about 15 percent of the items and we are in the process of acquiring the other stuff through procurement and donations,” he said.
The hospital, he said, needed about US$200 000 to buy the essentials in readiness for its re-opening.
Last week Reach A Young Soul (RAYS) Trust donated 50 blankets to the UBH’s Eaton Ward, a small children’s ward at the hospital that was opened following the closure of the children’s hospital in 2008.
“In the meantime we are running a small ward called the Eaton Ward where some children are admitted. Complicated cases are taken to Mpilo Central Hospital where there is a functional children’s hospital,” he said.