By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Masvingo – Building of the traditional medicines and indigenous knowledge systems centre at Great Zimbabwe University medical school is progressing very well.
The school which is going to help curb the gap in medical science was proposed at last year’s graduation by Vice Chancellor, Professor Rungano Zvobgo.
Zvobgo called upon the government to upgrade the Masvingo Provincial Hospital so it could partner with the medical school.
Community mid wives will also be tutored there.
“Another strategic operation of the medical school will be to create synergies and interactions between hospital trained midwives and community midwives. We know they exist in various traditional, cultural and religious set ups hence the need to capacitate them and ensure zero infant and maternal mortality in our community.
“In the same breadth, we will set up within the same school a centre for the study of Traditional medicines and indigenous knowledge systems, research around which is already taking place. So many of our traditions as Africans are being studied and patented elsewhere, hence we need to tell our own stories and document our own traditions,” he said.
Addressing President Mnangagwa, Zvobgo added that he hoped local doctors will be equipped with more knowledge about diseases.
“Your Excellency, it is also sad to not that Cuban doctors and other external medical researchers know more about diseases in Zimbabwe and Africa than we do. To salvage this anomaly, we are partnering Tilburg University in the Netherlands, in the Netherlands, in setting up a Data Service Centre. The Centre will, in addition to other key roles, assist in the documentation and preservation of knowledge in the medical school,” he said.
The medical school is going to address the issue of medical specialist shortages.
A remarkable number of medical professionals have since moved out of the country in search for greener pastures.
This has left a very imbalanced doctor to patient ratio in the local health institutions.
“The establishment of the School of Medicine at Great Zimbabwe University is important in order to address the critical shortage of medical specialists in the country. Due to the brain drain that we have suffered over the years, the current ratios for the doctor to population size fall far short of the World Health Organisation recommended ratios. The University thus resoled to contribute towards achieving the recommended ratios.
“Allow me to here to acknowledge the assistance we have received form Medishare and the outgoing African Union Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, in sourcing equipment for the Medical School, with a value of over two hundred and fifty thousand United States Dollars (US$250 000). We are truly grateful.”
The medical school tour held yesterday shows that the building of the school is now at an advanced stage and will soon be complete.