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UNDP Mpilo Lab Expansion Project To Become A Regional Centre 

Staff Reporter

The UNDP Mpilo Central Hospital National  Turberclosis Reference Laboratory upgrading and renovation project is gathering momentum with contractors expecting to handover the project to government early November.

The project is one of the initiatives being implemented by government and its development partners to shape the country`s path towards sustainable development.

The laboratory is being upgraded to Bio Security Level III which is the highest level of accreditation by World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to UNDP civil engineers, the works are currently at 16 percent covering an additional area of 287 square metres. The new state of the art laboratory will comprise of have a double storey to house the lab and training facilities for lab scientist.

Currently, the tests are being carried in a containerised laboratory to pave way for the upgrading.

After the construction, the laboratory should not only protect staff who work inside from the infections but also those who also visit the space.

“We are expecting to handover the project to the hospital by November 2,”said Wanio Mupande, a civil engineer with UNDP.

Speaking after touring the transformative projects undertaken by UNDP, in partnership with government in Bulawayo province, Permanent Secretary for Presidential Affairs, Office of the President and Cabinet Tafadzwa Muguti said the project was a testimony of sub tiers of national government ability to not only conceptualise but implement projects.

“We would to thank the UNDP for working with Bulawayo province particularly with local health institutions.

“”More importantly is the skills transfer where you have seen UNDP engineers working side by side with local contractors.

“” The beauty side of this project is that the laboratory will be certified to WHO BS level 3. Being house in this region of this country, the lab will give us an opportunity to benchmark other government projects to the same level as well,” said Muguti.

He pointed out that TB was a becoming a burden in the region, adding that it was a welcoming development for the country to host such grand infrastructure.

“In line with his Excellency President Mnangagwa’s  mantra of leaving no place and no one behind, you can see we are here and this region will not be left behind going forward,”Muguti said.

He implored ministry departments and other government agencies to grab as much experience when working with development partners.

UNDP Zimbabwe Resident Representative Ayodele Odusola said this is one of strategic projects they have initiated and they have also assisted Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) to become WHO certified.

“We have also supported MCAZ to become WHO certified in the sense that it can be ranked on the basis of international standards.

“”As I speak to you 13 countries are coming to MCAZ laboratory for tests.

“”We may not appreciate some of the things we see here in the sense that we may think it’s for this country only but soon  Zimbabwe will  now giving capacity to countries like Malawi,Mozambique and Sudan in terms of quality assurance.

Once completed the project will serve many countries in the region,”he said.

Other projects being implemented in Bulawayo province by UNDP include United Bulawayo Hospital 350KwP solar system, Mpilo Central Hospital incinerator building and installation of 250kg/hr incinerator, Integrated sample Transportation and Mpilo Central Hospital 350KwP solar project.