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ZIMRA impounds equipment meant for Mpilo Hospital

The equipment was brought in by a team of UK health specialists who are in Bulaway to conduct trainings using the same equipment.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) on Sunday impounded clinical equipment at the Joshua Mqabuko International Airport, which was meant to be donated to Mpilo Central Hospital.

All the way from the United Kingdom, the International Society of Nephrology’s Educational Ambassador Doctor Nitin Kolhe, arrived in Zimbabwe Sunday in the company of two senior nurses, Carol Rhodes and Claire Mcguire to train doctors at Mpilo Central Hospital from Monday to Friday this week.

The seized equipment includes a portable ultrasound machine, peritoneal dialysis catheters, renal biopsy needle, sutures, suturing tray, and sterile packs.

ZIMRA told the foreign mission to pay £3 000 for their equipment to come through. 

Besides training, the international team of medical experts, will perform and interpret Kidney Biopsy and educate Mpilo staff on how to set up a peritoneal dialysis catheter and conduct its dialysis.

Addressing media at a press briefing held at Mpilo Monday afternoon, Dr Kolhe, who is a Consultant Nephrologist and Clinical Director for Specialist Medicine, expressed his displeasure and wondered how his team would conduct training without the equipment to do so.

“The problem we have right now is our time is limited, as we leave Friday. Now what will we do until Friday? This is very frustrating because we travelled more than 4 000 miles only to end up with no equipment to work with,” said a clearly exasperated Dr Kolhe.

However, the foreign mission will travel with the ultrasound machine back to the United Kingdom. 

Meanwhile, Mpilo Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Leonard Mabhandi said the challenge that met the foreign doctors was they did not know the procedures to be followed if bringing in medical equipment to the country.

He said that was why the medical equipment was seized by ZIMRA.

“What happened is the international team did not know the procedures required in order for them to bring in equipment. They just assumed that they could disembark the plane and bring their equipment without any control measures.

“So when we were now checking to know what items the team was bringing in, we realised the equipment had to be cleared at a very later stage. I think we learnt this only on Friday when they were flying in here Sunday, which is when we discovered the list of items and the value that delayed the processing,” Mabhandi explained. 

The Mpilo CEO added the hospital was now working on clearing the equipment so that the foreign doctors can begin with the training.

“We are working on it right now. I am sure if the equipment is not cleared by this afternoon it will be done tomorrow morning. ZIMRA is helping us and we are now processing the duty-free certificates for the equipment,” he said.

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