Zanzibar — ZANZIBAR President Hussein Mwinyi on Saturday inspected construction of Lumumba Regional Referral Hospital at Gulioni area, expressing satisfaction with the progress so far.
He said, upon completion, the state-of-the-art facility will significantly improve provision of health services in the Isles. He said residents will be proud having the best facility in the Unguja Urban-West Region.
“The contractors are doing a good job so far. It is important that you maintain the good pace but strictly observe standard and value for money,” Dr Mwinyi told the contractors.
President Mwinyi noted that when the government starts the major renovation of its current National Referral Hospital at Mnazi-Mmoja in April next year, it is expected that Lumumba Hospital will provide cover as a National Referral Hospital.
“I was a bit worried that while renovation of Mnazi-Mmoja Hospital kicks off, there will be no place to carry on with medical services, but I’m happy that what I see here, is good progress, and this will enable us to carry medical services, at least for a while, when Mnazi-Mmoja is undergoing major facelift,” he said.
He noted that when the Lumumba Hospital also starts working, it will significantly reduce the burden of congestion at Mnazi-Mmoja, which is often overwhelmed by patients.
He said the government will ensure that the hospital has all the required medical equipment.
Dr Mwinyi said that all districts will soon have modern medical facilities, to enable pregnant mothers to give birth in their respective areas, instead of the current trend of rushing to Mnazi Mmoja.
“The government is also in the process of building another hospital in Binguni area, which will be bigger than of Lumumba Hospital,” he said.
“Our hope is to see regional hospitals like this one, in all regions. We have started with Lumumba in Unguja Urban -West Regional Hospital, and we have four other regions that will need to have hospitals like this one to ensure access to better health care services in Zanzibar,” he said.
Commenting on the complaints from garage owners near the area where Lumumba Hospital is being constructed, President Mwinyi asked them to comply with the order to vacate the area.
He said all those affected with the exercise will be compensated and reallocated to a new area to run their business.
On his side, Minister for Health Zanzibar, Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, said that the hospital was expected to be opened at the end of January next year, but due to the delay in delivery of construction materials and other equipment from abroad, the facility will be ready by April next year.
“The hospital is expected to have at least 400 employees and 22.4bn/- will be spent for its construction costs,” Minister Mazuri said.
The minister believes that when the hospital is completed, it will be able to provide quality services to all patients.
Earlier, the manager of the project, from Hub Construction, Habib Nuru, said the hospital will have all medical sections with modern equipment including delivery rooms, children’s wards, laboratories and emergency services along with 240 beds for patients.
However, he said they are facing the challenge of late arrival of the equipment they ordered from South Korea due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which slowed down transportation of goods in some countries.