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A new children’s orthopaedic hospital in Bulawayo that will treat children across Zimbabwe who are living with musculoskeletal impairments has opened today.

CURE International Hospital © CURE Children’s Hospital of Zimbabwe, photo courtesy of CURE International

The CURE Children’s Hospital of Zimbabwe was formally opened by the President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa today. The new hospital based in Bulawayo will treat children across Zimbabwe who are living with disabilities such as neglected clubfoot, bowed legs, and knock knees, helping them return to normal life. The existing hospital buildings in central Bulawayo and hospital site provided by United Bulawayo Hospitals have been renovated and a new theatre block built.

Professor Chris Lavy, honorary consultant orthopaedic and spine surgeon and Professor of Orthopaedic and Tropical Surgery at NDORMS, is a trustee and he has been involved in the project from the beginning. He has worked with funders and local health professionals and stakeholders in developing an innovative public-private health partnership. He says: “I am very delighted that the hospital is open and available to children with surgically treatable orthopaedic conditions, enabling them to run and walk normally. We are very grateful to all the individuals and partners along the way who have supported the dream of this hospital. We hope this teaching hospital will be a resource to the health community.”

The medical director at CURE Children’s Hospital of Zimbabwe, Dr Collen Msasanure, hosted a regional hip and knee replacement training course in Bulawayo a few years ago with visiting Oxford and local faculty. Prof Lavy says, “We look forward to working together with Dr Msasanure, local surgeons in Zimbabwe, and CURE Zimbabwe on future surgical training opportunities.” This builds on NDORMS’ strong orthopaedic surgery research, training and capacity-building links with Southern Africa since 2012 through the UK DFID Health Partnership Scheme link between University of Oxford and the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA Oxford Orthopaedic Link). Led by Prof Chris Lavy and Professor Godfrey Muguti (President of COSECSA), this multi-country programme has included running five training courses (paediatric orthopaedics, musculoskeletal tumours, joint replacement) for orthopaedic surgical registrars in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe led by visiting teams of surgeons from the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre; establishing training fellowships for local surgical registrars at CURE International orthopaedic children’s teaching hospitals in the region; and epidemiological research into the burden of children’s musculoskeletal impairment.

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