The Embassy of Japan in Zimbabwe has through the United Nations Office for Projects Services (UNOPS) provided US$322,259 towards increasing accessibility of basic emergency medical services in remote communities of Manicaland Province.
The funding will go towards providing fully equipped ambulances to hospitals in Chipinge (Chikore Mission Hospital) in and Mutasa (Hauna District Hospital) and a PCR machine to a hospital in Nyanga District.
The Ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe, Satoshi Tanaka said they had to intervene considering that some of the communities affected by Cyclone Idai still remain cut off from access to emergency healthcare.
“I hope that the ambulances will ensure that they can receive life-saving health services, and that the PCR machine will allow improved diagnosis and treatment of viruses. I also expect this new equipment to make the communities more resilient to future climate shocks and virus outbreaks in the future,” he said.
Approximately 194,240 people are expected to benefit across the three districts.
The three districts are among those that were severely affected by Cyclone Idai in 2019.
The cyclone underlined the need for accessible health services, as many communities remain cut off from such access. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has put further strain on the already stretched health system.
The project also seeks to make communities more resilient to climate shocks and pandemics.
The Country Manager for UNOPS in Zimbabwe, Djibrilla Mazin, explained that this intervention would complement Government’s efforts to restore normalcy in three of the districts of Manicaland that were affected by Cyclone Idai in 2019 – Mutasa, Chipinge and Nyanga.
UNOPS has been responding to the needs of Cyclone Idai-affected communities in Manicaland Province since just after the cyclone struck in 2019.
In seeking to provide emergency humanitarian assistance, Japan has relied on the experience and expertise of UN agencies including UNOPS, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to identify the humanitarian response needs and effectively implement critical responses.