HEALTH and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo has challenged alcohol manufacturing companies like African Distillers (AFDIS) to be at the fore of establishing rehabilitation centres for those that abuse and or misuse alcohol.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
Officiating the handover of a refurbished male medical ward at Harare Central Hospital on Friday, the Minister said it is the companies’ social responsibility to ensure those in need of rehabilitation can get it.
“They have a social responsibility to look after those who abuse alcohol and drugs. So you heard them saying they are going to have a second and third phase because we want the alcohol manufacturers to also take that responsibility and know that there are a lot of problems which are arising as a result of alcohol abuse.
“So they have to play a role. Their giving back to the society should be in the form of creating those rehabilitation centres. So that we can be able to look after those who unfortunately over did it or overdo it,” he said.
A sizeable number of youths derail their lives due to alcohol and substance abuse, while on the other end, many road accidents happen.
According to psychologists, they say the recommended number of alcohol units to be taken by males is three while females should have two.
The Minister recalled what he learned when he officiated the International Day Against Alcohol and Substance Abuse held in Dzivarasekwa recently.
“I remember a testimony we had in Dzivarisekwa about one person a lady who confessed that she wished she had never started overabusing alcohol. And there was also another man at that same function, now a pastor who before abused alcohol. He said he was a rogue of the last degree. He would go around beating people, threatening people, intimidating people. He said he came to one of the hospital doctor whom he challenged and threatened. The doctor ended up saying he couldn’t handle this one. He needs to go to ward 12 at Parirenyatwa and that’s where he was admitted and started to change his methodologies or behavior. So we are happy they have come here,” he said.
He also said government appreciates the contributions of the private sector in improving the country’s healthcare delivery system.
“Government is committed to achieving affordable quality healthcare for all. The current economic environment requires more resources than are available hence the need for Public-Private Partnerships to achieve affordable and quality health for all,” Dr. Moyo said.
Dr Moyo added, “I want to commend, AFDIS for their efforts and work in refurbishing this male ward. I am glad to hear that AFDIS is committed to take care of the ward for the next five years. I encourage other corporates to emulate what AFDIS has done and also come on board to compliment Government efforts.”
Speaking at the handover ceremony, AFDIS Managing Director, Mr Cecil Gombera said that AFDIS was committed to complimenting government’s efforts to foster development in communities.
“AFDIS specifically chose Harare Hospital after considering that it is a major Government referral hospital which has a huge volume of patients coming from all over Harare and beyond. As a wholly owned Government institution, the hospital charges minimal or controlled rates to patients, hence the need for assistance, especially in this economic environment to supplement and complement its operations,” Gombera said.
“As AFDIS, we intend to support the male ward for the next five years as part of our strategic response to the government’s call,” he said.
He added, “As an organization, we endeavour to make a positive difference to the communities that we serve. We do this by streamlining our operations to suit environmental requirements, encouraging responsible marketing and consumption of alcoholic beverages, and subscribing to the principle of sustainable development.”
The refurbished male Ward B8, which was officially handed over to Harare Hospital on Friday 2 August, was the most dilapidated ward at the institution according to officials at the hospital. The refurbishment saw the ward being replenished with new hospital blankets, bed sheets, curtains, new tiles, electrical fittings, television sets, plumbing fittings and repainting, among other items.