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MSU to open Medical School
Lovemore Zigara

MIDLANDS State University’s (MSU) medical school should be ready for opening before the end of the year with the first batch of medical students expected to be enrolled for the first semester of next year, university Vice Chancellor Professor Ngwabi Bhebe has said. Prof Bhebe said some of the buildings for the medical school have been completed.

He said an MSU delegation is leaving for China on Sunday for the acquisition of medical equipment to be used at the medical school.
Said Prof Bhebe: “We have finished the buildings and on Sunday we are going to China to acquire the necessary equipment for teaching. The whole project will be facilitated and guided by the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) medical school.

“We are working very closely with the UZ medical school. They will also be involved in the recruitment of staff. It’s not going to be our task alone but we have the expertise from the UZ and we want to open depending on what the UZ will recommend at the end of this year.”

Despite the inroads made by the university in the setting up of the school of medicine, Health and Child Care Minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa said more still needs to be done especially the recruitment of specialist medical professionals at Gweru Provincial Hospital where some of the medical school lectures will be conducted.

“It is possible to have a medical school at MSU but for it to be there the Health Service Board will come and inspect whether or not Gweru Provincial Hospital meets certain requirements.

“The starting point is that the standards at this institution should be improved. For a start there should be at least eight different specialists at this hospital to accommodate a medical school. However, at the moment there is only one,” he said.

Dr Parirenyatwa said the hospital should devise ways to attract specialists to the institution.
There are only two institutions offering a medical degree in the country with one being offered by the UZ while the other one is offered by the University of Science and Technology (Nust) in Bulawayo.

The country has recorded many medical successes with the most recent being the successful operation on siamese twins christened Kupakwashe and Tapiwanashe by a team of 50 medical practitioners who worked on the delicate eight-hour procedure at Harare Children’s Hospital.

Zanu-PF politburo member and former Midlands Governor, Dr Cephas Msipa speaking during the official handover ceremony of the Gweru Provincial Hospital casualty ward hailed the country’s medical standards.

In his welcome remarks, Dr Msipa said local medical standards compete with some of the world’s best.
Said Dr Msipa: “I was at a local hospital recently and I was surprised at the level of professionalism and competence by our medical professionals. There is no need for people to go to India and other countries to seek medical attention because our own practitioners are equally competent.”

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