The Chinese embassy has provided medical equipment worth MVR500,000 (US$32,425) to the Hithadhoo regional hospital in Addu City and a US$20,000 grant to the health ministry.
Deputy Head of the Chinese Embassy Lu Kang handed over the equipment to Acting Health Minister Mohamed Nazim at a ceremony this morning at Nasandhuraa Palace Hotel.
The equipment included an incubator, oxygen concentrator, cardiac monitor, ventilator, and infusion warmer.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Nazim said the Chinese government’s assistance would help the government’s efforts to upgrade the regional hospital to tertiary level.
An agreement was signed between the Ministry of Health and Sunshell Maldives Pvt Ltd yesterday for the renovation of the Hithadhoo regional hospital in a project worth MVR1.2 million (US$77,821), reports local media.
Speaking at the signing ceremony at the health ministry, acting health minister Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim said efforts were underway to upgrade the regional hospital to tertiary level.
The 92-day renovation project involves the addition of children and women’s wings as well as more consultation and private rooms at the regional hospital in the southernmost atoll.
A second agreement was also signed at yesterday’s ceremony with Click Computers to provide 53 computers to health service providers across the country.
Nazim was appointed to the post last month following the Majlis’ rejection of Dr Mariyam Shakeela for the position. Majority leader Ahmed Nihan has this week praised Nazim for his “tremendous” efforts since taking the job.
The comments came in response to Shakeela’s accusations this week that she was ousted from her role in order to allow others to benefit from corruption regarding development projects in the health sector.
A US$12.5 million (Rf192.7 million) has been given to develop Hithadhoo Regional Hospital in Addu by the Saudi Fund for Development.
Finance Minister Ahmed Inaz and Saudi Fund’s Vice Chairman and Managing Director Yousef Ibrahim Al-Bassam signed the agreement yesterday. Health Minister Dr Aminath Jameel and Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari were in attendance.
The loan carries a one percent interest rate and a five year grace period. It is expected to be repaid within 20 years.
The project, which will be supported by loans from the Saudi Fund and the OPEC Fund, has not yet been opened for bidding.
Citizens of Hithadhoo in Addu City have “heavily criticised” the decision to paint the walls of the newly-built four-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Hithadhoo Regional Hospital yellow, the color of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), according to Sun Online.
The ICU was constructed under the budget for the upcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Addu City.
Unnamed residents of Hithadhoo told Sun Online that “the hospital should not cater to people of a certain color” and that yellow paint was not suited to an ICU.
Southern Health Corporation Managing Director Noorullah Saeed however denied that the decision was political.
Saeed revealed that the yellow was going to be painted over and a new color will be chosen after consulting with the hospital’s doctors and nurses.