Ecstacy, relief as Angel of Hope, partners build hospital in Binga

FIRST Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa’s dream to see the Binga community accessing improved healthcare, came true, thanks to her Angel of Hope Foundation’s partnership with her friend Mrs Jeannie Burns Buckner, Matter Foundation and Love for Africa to deliver an ultra-modern hospital in Chisizya.

When the First Lady met with Mrs Buckner, Mr Quenton Marty and Mr Blessing Munyenyiwa in 2020, she humbly requested that a hospital be built through the partnership.

The partners agreed and asked the First Lady to choose the location and she went for Chisizya in Binga.

First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, Ms Jeannie Burns Buckner, Mr Quenton Marty and Minister of State and Devolution for Matabeleland North Richard Moyo join expecting mothers in song and dance during the official opening of the state-of-the-art hospital in Chisizya, Binga

The new imposing solar-powered medical facility, which has illuminated Binga, boasts of doctors and nurses quarters and a mothers’ waiting shelter.

It also has ante-natal, post-natal, labour, male and female wards as well as a pharmacy, consultation room and waiting area.

The project demonstrated the First Lady’s love for mankind and quest to improve all citizens’ access to healthcare.

The Binga project is not the only one Dr Mnangagwa has worked on as she has previously built another health facility in Chiweshe offering outpatient, maternal and child health services.

She built the Chiweshe health facility from her personal savings.

Angel of Hope Foundation patron First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa and Ms Jeannie Burns Buckner, admire a new-born baby delivered at the newly-built hospital in Chisizya, Binga. Pictures: John Manzongo

Through her Angel of Hope Foundation, she is building a hospital for mothers and children in Harare which is nearing completion.

Previously, some women in Binga were giving birth before reaching Lusulu Clinic for assistance which is 40km away.

It had hitherto, been a tough call to make for the villagers who would need to cross rivers to get to Zhamba Clinic to seek health services.

On Monday, the people of Binga sang, danced, ululated and whistled in appreciation of the First Lady’s efforts to improve their healthcare.

The mother of the nation described the day as a big one for the people of Binga.

“Today is a big day where we have officially opened our hospital here. It has been my dream to help the people of Chisizya.

“In 2020, my friends, Jeannie Burns Buckner, Quenton from Matter Foundation and my son Blessing from Love for Africa visited me at my offices.

“In this meeting, I indicated that I wanted not only a clinic, but a hospital to be built here and they readily agreed. They asked where I wanted it built and I said Binga.

“I am happy my dream has come to reality. When we had our meeting, it was during the Covid-19 era where travelling was difficult but my heart kept telling me that I needed a hospital in Chisizya, Binga.

“This project has not been easy coupled with challenges that include poor accessibility, Covid-19, the rains among other challenges. As you may be aware that we are not the first ones to try and build a hospital here, others before us failed and abandoned the project. We felt it was important to soldier on regardless of the challenges and today we are celebrating our hospital as a family. “This hospital is actually a game changer. A special mention goes to my friend Jeannie who helped with mobilising funding for this hospital. On behalf of Zimbabwe at large, we say thank you for fulfilling my hope and vision for this community,” she said.

First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa shares a lighter moment with Ms Jeannie Burns Buckner and Mr Quenton Marty during the official opening of the modern hospital in Chisizya, Binga

Dr Mnangagwa appealed to the people of Binga to take good care of the hospital and not vandalise its facilities.

“I want to urge you to look after this hospital well and see to it there is no vandalism. In addition, will humbly ask the police commissioner to put a police post here so that they help us at the hospital and also serve the community on challenges we face everyday. I am aware that the hospital has already opened its doors and to date 200 babies have been delivered here. I want to thank the nursing staff for a job well done,” she said.

The mother of the nation appealed for peace, love and harmony in families across the country.

“To men, we want love in your homes and you should accompany your wives to the hospital when they are expecting. Is there love in your homes?” she asked.

In response others said they did not have love while some said they still had love.

The state-of-the art hospital that was built by Jeannie Burns Buckner, Angel of Hope Foundation and USA partners in Chisizya, Binga

Amai Mnangagwa urged couples to shun domestic violence and love one another.

“I came here and found two children born and I was happy to see them. We realised there was need to address the issue of doctors and nurses accomodation. We have two doctors quarters, one resident doctor, one visiting specialist, as well as eight nursing quarters that will accommodate eight nursing staff. Angel of Hope Foundation and its partners will continue to forge ahead with such exemplary projects. Angel of Hope Foundation facilitated the drilling of two boreholes to serve the hospital and people of this community. We are happy to see our community having access to clean water that reduces outbreaks of typhoid, cholera and dysentery. Let’s take this opportunity to implore the local leadership, business fraternity and local health practitioners to emulate Jeannie’s efforts to support Angel of Hope Foundation’s endeavour by taking care of the hospital. Let us all take care of our hospital,” she said.

The First Lady spoke candidly against drug and substance abuse.

“People are ruined by drugs. I urge all my children here to shun such. Some will vandalise the hospital while drunk. We say no to drugs that ruin our health,” she said.

Mr Marty said he was glad to have helped the people of Binga through his partnership with the Angel of Hope Foundation.

“In life I developed a belief that our life is about finding and discovering our purpose, why God has put us here on this earth. If we do not discover our purpose, life can become hopeless. I also learnt that my purpose is not all about me, but rather about service to others. I stand here before you today and I am so grateful to God that my life has been that example of service to others. The hospital here today, the celebration, this gathering is a beautiful example and demonstration of service to others. I would like to urge each and everyone of you to be inspired to serve others. As a result of this work, Amai thank you very much for giving service to others,” he said.

Mrs Buckner said when she met the First Lady, she was the one who came up with the vision to build the hospital.

“We met with Amai three times and she agreed that this was the place it had to be. Binga needed this. I want to tell you a little bit about all the buildings here. This is an incredible hospital. We started by calling it a clinic but it’s a hospital. There have been almost 200 babies born healthy here and mothers are safe. I am a mother of four children, I am a grandmother of eight grandchildren and I have always had this feeling that I was meant to do something really special to help mothers and babies stay safe.

Ministry of Health and Child Care

Today doctors, nurses and by the way a huge thank you to the nurses who worked tirelessly from the very beginning,” she said.

Dr Sibonginkosi Ncube, representing provincial medical director, Dr Kuretu expressed gratitude to the First Lady for the construction of the hospital.

“We really thank you as the Ministry of Health and Child Care for building us a hospital in a rural setting. I think this is the biggest rural hospital in Zimbabwe that we have and its all because of you Amai. This hospital comes at a time when we are trying to reach the Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) of reducing maternal mortality, reducing under five mortality and from what Jeanne has mentioned so far, we have managed to deliver more than 200 babies at this hospital. As nurses we are trained to reduce home deliveries and in this area we have managed to curb that since we have cut the distance short which the people travelled to seek help. We also managed to set up a dental outreach through your help Amai. We have a team that is currently camping here for the outreach helping us in the community with dental issues,” she said.

Binga villagers could not hide their excitement and gave detailed accounts of the challenges they faced in the past.

One such villager is Mrs Unity Mpofu.

“I am grateful to the First Lady for building a hospital for us. Previously we would give birth before reaching the clinic while walking the whole day to the nearest clinic. I personally have three children whom I delivered on the road to the clinic and I am so grateful for this state-of-the-art hospital at our doorstep. We would walk 40 km to the nearest clinic while also carrying bags. Life was hard for us especially isusu madzimai,” she said.

Mrs Rebecca Tshuma, who is at a waiting shelter at the new hospital was equally upbeat.

“I am at a waiting shelter here at Chisizya since I am expecting. I am so grateful for what the First Lady has done for us. We would travel for many hours to get to the hospital where we crossed rivers. Some women would deliver on the road to the nearest clinics. We are grateful for the work done by our mother,” she said with a broad smile.

Matabeleland North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Richard Moyo

Mrs Lucia Ngwenya thanked the First Lady for her thoughtfulness and love for humankind.

“I am so grateful for what our mother has done for us. She built this hospital for us to get help. With this medical facility, we can now visit the clinic and return home in good time. I am at a loss for words because of this kind of love,” she said.

Matabeleland North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Richard Moyo said; “Amai you have achieved a great milestone in ensuring that the people of Chisizya have access to health services close to where they stay. The hospital will go a long way improving the health service delivery of the people. It will cater for people from Binga, Gokwe and Lupane. The work you continue to do for us across the nation is commendable. We also want to thank the Angel of Hope Foundation’s partners.”

Traditional Chiefs and the elderly received food hampers and toiletries from the First Lady.

She also gave an assortment of foodstuffs to everyone who came.

Chronicle

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