THE Chinese medical team that arrived in Zimbabwe last week has come at time Zimbabwe is in need of medical expertise in areas such as anesthesia, orthopedics and radiology in the country’s public health facilities, a health official has said.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals Clinical Director Mr Noah Madziva said the one year visit by the Chinese medical team would close the personnel gaps rampart in the public health institutions as well as impart knowledge and skills to local medical practitioners.
“The specialties I am really excited with in this new team of specialists is radiology. The team has got two radiologists both of them doing interventional radiology. Interventional radiology is something which has been lacking in our public sector. Actually in our public sector we have only one interventional radiologist.
“So with the addition of two interventional radiologists we have in the public sector it will help in the management of our patients. Just to give you a brief idea, radiology is broadly described as diagnostic and interventional. Diagnostic is where you take images to see masses and you analyse them. Whereas interventional is when radiologists actually do procedures to try and treat big problems.
He added that interventional radiology also avoids unnecessary big operations. Where one treats patients using interventional techniques, usually the patient goes home the same day.
“Otherwise if you don’t have interventional radiology you may end up opening up someone’s abdomen to do a procedure which you can do radiological if the skills are there,” he said.
He also said t there was a shortage of anesthetists in Zimbabwe with most provinces hardly having any.
“The other area in public sector which is critical where we rarely get value from the Chinese team is anesthesia. On the ground we are thin where we have very few anesthesiologists who assist us in putting our patients to sleep, you find on a number of occasions, patients are cancelled simply because there aren’t enough anesthesiologists. Just to give you a situation how bad the situation is, a province like Masvingo doesn’t have an anesthetist.
“The whole province. The same applies to Manicaland. I am currently told, there is probably one or two now in Midlands and in Bulawayo the whole city doesn’t have an anesthetist. So it’s an area where we hope we have enough so that we do our best,” he said.
Mr Madziva also said the orthopedic department would benefit from the Chinese doctor’s expertise.
“The other area which I will lastly consider is of rare value to us is orthopedics. You know right now we have so many accidents and a lot of people on the waiting list with broken bones that need to be fixed. Come to Parirenyatwa now every Monday and Tuesday, in our OPD then you will understand what I am talking about. Because at Parirenyatwa we are trying our best to assist patients with broken bones.
“And you find patients who come from all over the country even from other hospitals for specialist attention at Parirenyatwa hospital. So it’s an area where we are very happy with the added personnel,” he said.
Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping said to date, about 160 Chinese medical specialists in various fields have been to Zimbabwe with the last group having done about a 1 000 operations.