By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Masvingo’s Rujeko Covid-19 Isolation Centre will start producing its own oxygen after receiving equipment from a local donor.
Oxygen is used to treat Covid-19 patients and health facilities in Zimbabwe have in the past run out of supplies whenever the country records a high number of hospitalisations.
Solidar Med, a local company, recently handed over an oxygen concentrator and drug trolley from Solidar Med to Colin Maboke at the centre.
The isolation centre that has been handling Covid-19 cases since the outbreak began last year, is facing a shortage of resources.
Alvorn Mutengerere, a Solidar Med representative, said the production of oxygen at the centre would help contain costs of caring for Covid-19 patients.
“When we realised that the isolation centre also falls under Masvingo Province, we decided to extend our support with the small funds we had to support the Rujeko Isolation Centre,” Mutengerere said.
“We then visited the isolation centre and saw how things were being run and we noticed some gaps.
“So, this can be a start for them to be able to take care of Covid-19 patients.
“With the oxygen concentrator, there is no need to buy oxygen as it actually generates oxygen from the air and then straight to the patient with no need for external oxygen cylinders.
“This will save the isolation centre from purchasing oxygen. Oxygen is vital in the fight against Covid-19, and patients need oxygen.
“So, concentrating our own oxygen is the way to go.”
Solidar Med said it donated a drug trolley after noticing that nurses did not have proper equipment to store drugs when attending to patients.
Maboke expressed his gratitude to Solidar Med for the donation, saying the oxygen concentrator will also benefit Covid-19 patients from other parts of Masvingo Province.
Solidar Med said the donation was worth around US $1,800.
The firm, which works with hospitals in Masvingo Province such as those in Bikita, Mwenezi, Zaka and Masvingo urban, has also assisted in the refurbishment of the intensive care unit at Masvingo General Hospital.
Masvingo Province has six Covid-19 isolation centres, namely, Masvingo Provincial Hospital, Rujeko Isolation Centre, Chiredzi Hospital, Chivi Hospital, Neshuro Hospital and Ndanga Hospital.