The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Cde Prisca Mupfumira has applauded the National Social Security Association (NSSA) for coming to the aid of one of the country’s prime referral hospital by committing thousands of dollars to refurbish the female orthopaedic ward, re-wiring of electrical cables and plumbing works.

Harare hospital was built in 1945 but was officially opened in 1958 with a bed occupancy of 630 patients.

Now the institution has grown to be one of the largest referral centres in the country, but most of the buildings are now in need of refurbishment.

Minister Mupfumira, various business executives who make up the NSSA board and some senior staff members from Harare Hospital traded in their suits for dustcoats as they got down to business giving ward C4 a facelift.

The initiative funded by a local social security organisation will see walls being painted, floors being tiled, re-wiring of electrical cables as well as new plumbing works installed.

Cde Mupfumira said it is pleasing that NSSA is not only interested in making profits from people’s investments but realises the need to plough back into the community and making the lives of contributors comfortable.

NSSA chief executive Ms Liz Chitiga said her organisation is planning to carry similar projects in various hospitals across the country.

Leaking roofs, peeling floors and cracked walls harbour all sorts of bacteria which is not conducive for an environment that is expected to provide healing says Harare Hospital acting clinical director Dr Tapiwa Bwakura.

Several churches and various organisations have adopted wards at Harare Hospital after realising that the at least 40 percent of the patients who are treated at the hospital are the elderly who are over 65 years and the under-fives, who do not pay for services rendered.

The government has also availed 600 reclining beds bought with a US$100 million loan facility from the Chinese government.