Tendai Rupapa-Senior Reporter
A STATE-OF-THE-ART hospital with doctors quarters, a mothers’ waiting shelter and nutrition garden, is set to open its doors in the previously marginalised Binga community this week, thanks to the hard work put in by Health Ambassador, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and her Angel of Hope Foundation’s partners.
The imposing health facility, which is poised to change the face of Binga and boost people’s access to improved healthcare, was built through a partnership involving Angel of Hope Foundation, Matter Foundation based in the United States and Love for Africa.
Love for Africa works hand-in-hand with Matter Foundation and they partnered Angel of Hope Foundation in appreciation of the First Lady’s efforts to improve the welfare of people, including their access to education and better health care.
The partnership will see many such health facilities built in communities countrywide.
Previously, the partnership has seen Information Communication Technology (ICT) hubs being set up countrywide, including in Hatcliffe, Harare.
The First Lady’s hands-on-approach and hard work have cemented her partnership with the organisations.
Matter Foundation president Mr Quenton Marty, described the First Lady as hard-working, adding that she is a woman of action.
Mr Marty said they partnered the First Lady and her foundation in support of her unwavering efforts of ensuring citizens get access to improved healthcare and education.
“We are so grateful to be in Zimbabwe once again cementing our partnership with the Angel of Hope Foundation,” he said.
“We really believe at Matter Foundation that it takes collaboration and a lot of great people to come together and get work done.
“We are happy that Her Excellency, the First Lady, is a hands-on and hard working woman. We worked together to come up with this hospital.
“We are also working on other projects with her around the country which will see the building of more hospitals and clinics, hence we are taking her lead.”
Mr Marty said he was happy the people of Binga were on course to enjoying improved healthcare.
He said even though Matter Foundation works in about 15 African countries, including Zimbabwe, Amai Mnangagwa was the most hard working.
“The First Lady of Zimbabwe is special,” said Mr Marty.
“She is very active, she works hard, she is not somebody who talks about things, but she gets work done. We are very grateful for her being a woman of action.”
Ms Jeannie Burns Buckner, who flew into the country from the United States ahead of the official opening of the hospital by the First Lady, said she was proud of Amai Mnangagwa because of her care and love for the people.
“We met a few years ago with the First Lady and we asked her where she wanted the first hospital built through our partnership with her Angel of Hope Foundation,” she said.
“She chose Binga and we worked hard together and the job is now done.
“Through our partnership with her, we will build more clinics and hospitals. There is a nutritional garden which will have orchard trees and nutritional food for mothers and patients.
“We also built a fully equipped mothers’ waiting shelter that will house expecting mothers so that we avoid home deliveries.”
Ms Buckner added that health facilities needed to have accommodation for staffers, hence the construction of the doctors’ quarters.
Mr Jim Origer, who is on his maiden visit to Zimbabwe, said he was grateful for the relationship they had established with the First Lady.
“I have been working with Matter (Foundation) for some years now and I really appreciate the relationship that they have formed with the First Lady,” he said.
“The First Lady’s work that she is doing here is very remarkable and this is my first visit to Zimbabwe and the people here are amazing and welcoming and I am really encouraged by the work that is being done.”
The mother of the nation said she was looking forward to ensuring that most parts of the country, especially remote areas, benefited from the partnership.
“We are looking at the whole country and see where we can build these services, especially in the remote areas where they are failing to access health services,” she said.
“Some travel a long distance to get to the nearest clinic. We can do everything, but health is important. Everyone should have access to healthcare. We need to cater for all our people.”
The First Lady expressed appreciation to her Angel of Hope Foundation’s partners and said it was her wish to help improve health facilities in Zimbabwe.
“I am truly thankful for the help that has been extended by Matter (Foundation), Love for Africa and other partners,” she said.
“This shows that we can achieve a lot through working together. We have a lot of people who need access to health facilities and still have to walk long distances to the nearest clinic.
“We need to work hard and ensure we get many of these clinics and hospitals around the country. I am so thankful for the assistance we are getting.”
The Matter Foundation and Love for Africa delegation toured the Angel of Hope Foundation farm where together with the First Lady, they planted Chaya trees.
The trees are touted as nature’s solution to malnutrition as they are not affected by drought and sandy soils.
The leaves are high in protein, calcium, iron and vitamins A and C, hence clinics can grow Chaya trees to give to malnourished patients as a food supplement.
They are also helpful in controlling diabetes, arthritis and other ailments.
Mothers who eat Chaya leaves have a greater quality and quantity of breast milk for their babies.
Angel of Hope Foundation is a non-profit organisation which strives to assist those in need and the produce from the farm helps to assist citizens in marginalised communities and those in need.
Mr Blessing Munyenyiwa of Love for Africa, who also toured the farm and helped plant trees, said his working relationship with Angel for Hope Foundation had been amazing.
“Certainly, the relationship with Angel of Hope Foundation has been very amazing,” he said. “It has been going on for three years and we have done so much in the country. We have been able to go around the country to some of the communities with Amai and her Angel of Hope to see the work that she is doing on the ground.
“We have come here to the farm to see what they are working on and we have just seen that she is a hands-on person. My friends and colleagues were just amazed that she was out there digging the holes with them, planting the Chaya (trees), so they are impressed and this is why they continue coming to Zimbabwe to come and support us and help the communities.”
Mr Munyenyiwa described the First Lady’s work in the health sector as phenomenal.
“She is the ambassador for health and has been very phenomenal,” he said. “This is the reason why there is a hospital that has been built in Binga because of her work as the health ambassador.”
With the hard work being put in by the First Lady and her partners in improving health facilities, a lot is expected to be achieved for the country.