Built in 1984 to service Harare’s main satellite town and its surrounds, Chitungwiza Hospital has undergone a major metamorphosis, becoming an unmatched public health institution of excellence, offering services that were previously a preserve for private patients.
From humble beginnings when it was only a district hospital, the facility has grown in leaps and bounds, attaining ISO certification in 2008 (first public institution in the country to get this), scooping the coveted Standards Association of Zimbabwe Service of the Year award and securing its place in the running for the Sadc Annual Quality Awards 2014.
Walking through the well-lit clean wards which are neatly adorned with three lever-type beds, one cannot help but marvel at the amount of work and sheer dedication that has gone into the refurbishments
“We want the patients to be comfortable for the duration that they are here. Health delivery is a complete package and there are no shortcuts or room for slackening,” said the hospital’s chief executive, Obadiah Moyo.
During a recent tour of the facility, hospitalised patients reclined comfortably in their beds, with some keenly following their favourite programmes on the flat screen television sets that are in every ward.
The turquoise and white paneling exudes a calming effect which is both soothing and refreshing in a place associated with pain and death.
“As an ISO certified institute, we strive for excellence and it is our desire to keep abreast with modern medical technology which will enable us to keep our vision and provide quality health care services,” Moyo said.
As we dash through the wards he takes time to make brief stopovers at patients’ bed and chats them up. One would ordinarily dismiss it as a public relations stunt, but it seems he has made quite a few friends and knows them by name.
In the female ward, an old lady upon noticing him grins widely and waves frantically to attract his attention.
He waves back and gently tells her he will come back and she relaxes back into her pillow nodding her head.
However, all these developments which include the joint venture partnership (JVP) initiative, whereby the hospital has managed to improve the provision of radiology, laboratory, renal, pharmacy and funeral services, will be surpassed by a multi-million dollar project which is currently on the cards.