Zimbabwe: Zim on the verge of breakthrough in medical tourism


Zimbabwe is set to benefit from medical tourism following international approval of the country’s health service processes with foreigners lining up to get Covid-19 vaccines, which they have to pay for, while local surgeons were allowed to help separate Siamese twins from Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon.

The two countries’ appeal follows successful operations at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital earlier this year and another in 2014.

Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr Constantino Chiwenga has authorized surgeons to help.

This aligns with the vision of medical tourism, where people visit Zimbabwe or seek Zimbabwean specialists for medical care. The government has indicated that it no longer wants to export patients by having more specialties made locally.

Vice President Chiwenga recently told professionals at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital that they continue to make the country proud of these historic successes and vowed that their good work will be rewarded.

“In another success story, the hospital started the hydrocephalus and spina bifida camp, and more than 60 patients were screened,” he said. “Of the 60, 36 babies with spina bifida and hydrocephalus were operated on. Well done ! You continue to be the pride of this country.

“In addition to all the specialized pediatric services available at this hospital, my vision is to introduce new areas such as open heart surgery, transplant procedures, oncology, cochlear implants, pediatric orthopedic services and new pediatric services. “

VP Chiwenga told health workers to let him know in writing of all their requirements, both personal and professional, to ensure that all possible requests are considered.

The vice president told medical professionals to be proud to practice in their country and not be fooled by foreign countries.

He was confident that the medical team at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital will rise to the task and gain international recognition.

The government is also committed to providing equitable health care services across the country, and Vice President Chiwenga has ordered the Permanent Secretary to the Air Commodore, Dr Jasper Chimedza, to ensure that similar services are available in Bulawayo.

“We are confident that the Children’s Hospital will be known in Africa and the world as a center of excellence in pediatric services,” said Vice President Chiwenga. “In this regard, I have instructed my permanent secretary, the Air Commodore, Dr Jasper Chimedza, to establish a similar ward at Mpilo Central Hospital, where there is already a children’s hospital.

Sally Mugabe Central Hospital board chairman Dr Edward Chagonda said the ministry was privileged to have Vice President Chiwenga at the helm as he was a person who wanted to do the job.

Specialist surgeon Dr Bothwell Mbuwayesango, who successfully led a team of medical professionals to separate the Siamese twins in 2014 and this year, praised the expertise in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Specialists always shine in regular reviews for Specialists from East, Central and Southern Africa.

Last year, three locals ranked among the top four students.

Consultant pediatric neurosurgeon Dr Luxwell Jokonya said Zimbabwe has the required staff for most specialties but has requested more resources and workspace.

Mr. Tapiwa Mutare, father of the Siamese twins who were successfully separated after a complex 6pm operation on February 23 at the age of 73 days, thanked the government for making such quality services available.

“I continued to pray. We have two more children. I am happy that Zimbabwe is able to provide such excellent services,” he said.

Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Mangaliso Ndhlovu said: “We receive many inquiries about our vaccination program. People want to come and get vaccinated in Zimbabwe.

“Obviously that’s because right now we’re leading in terms of a vaccination program and people want to come and join it, so we’re seeing opportunities for medical tourism like we’ve seen happening in Dubai. .

“There have been a number of people who have come just to get the shot. We see Victoria Falls offering the same opportunities, ”said Minister Ndhlovu.

Tourists are allowed to be vaccinated in Zimbabwe, but they must pay the full cost of the vaccination. Local residents are vaccinated free of charge.

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