Mpilo, Pari secure first-ever MRI scans

29 Oct, 2023 - 00:10 0 Views
Mpilo, Pari secure first-ever MRI scans Mpilo Central Hospital

The Sunday News

Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter

THE Government has acquired state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines for Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo and Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare in a development that is set to reduce the cost to patients requiring the services as well as general improvement of health service provision in the country.

The machines are in the process of being installed at the two hospitals as the Second Republic continues to walk the talk on leaving no one and no place behind in the provision of health services. MRI scan services have only been available at private health institutions costing at least US$500 per scan, a cost that many patients could not afford. An MRI scan is used to diagnose conditions that affect soft tissue damage, cancers, tumours, ligament damage, joint injury or disease.

In an interview, Dr Narcisius Dzvanga, the Chief Medical Officer for Mpilo Central Hospital, said the machine was a game-changer in the health delivery system in the entire southern region which the institution serves. 

“I am delighted to inform you that we have a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine, it came through the Ministry of Health and Child Care and there is an identical machine at Parirenyatwa Groups of Hospitals in Harare. We have been waiting for this machine for almost five years, and it is good news that the machine is now on site and is being installed,” said Dr Dzvanga.

He highlighted the advantages of the MRI scan versus the Computerised Tomography (CT) scan.

“We have a very reliable CT scanner in the radiology department at Mpilo and now we have an MRI scan that we have stationed at the out-patient’s department on the   ground floor because it is a huge and heavy machine. 

“To put it in simple terms it is a high-resolution machine that is superior in terms of detail to a CT scan. Radiologists will tell you that an MRI scan has certain advantages in certain parts of the body while a CT scanner has an upper hand in certain areas of the body,” said Dr Dzvanga.

These machines have different resolutions in terms of the pictures that they produce. He said the MRI scan would come in handy for cancer patients.

“This machine will be very useful for cancer patients. You can stage cancer better with an MRI than CT scanner and we are really looking forward to utilising the machine and hoping that it will last a lifespan which is worth the investment,” he said.

Dr Dzvanga said the demand for MRI service at Mpilo Central Hospital had been overwhelming.

“MRI scans, ordinary X-rays and CT scans are required on a daily basis, particularly by neurosurgeons and general surgeons. The only discipline that I think does not use an MRI is probably obstetrics and gynaecology otherwise daily, there are no less than three to 10 requests for MRI scans and we have been sending patients to seek the services from private institutions. There are two private MRIs in the city. Now we are the only public health institution in the southern region to have this machine,” added Dr Dzvanga. 

Asked on the cost of the service to patients, Dr Dzvanga said they would ensure it was affordable.

“We will try to make it affordable. I am not sure how much leeway we have from the Government in determining how much it will cost. We will probably learn from Parirenyatwa to see how much it will cost and we will follow. We are a regulated institution and the Government wants to ensure that we are affordable to everyone. 

“We are a community hospital and I can assure you that whatever we charge will be affordable to everyone, foremost, most of the patients that we see here are above 65 years old, and the Government requires that they do not pay anything for services, under five years old also do not pay and pregnant women too. So, because of that, we will be able to attend to quite a number of patients free of charge,” he added.

 @NyembeziMu 

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