Musician, Sandra Ndebele, who was appointed Mpilo Central Hospital goodwill ambassador, on Monday left the country for South Africa for orientation by Unicef goodwill ambassador Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
Ndebele, who recorded a song for the hospital titled Mpilo Arise, will be responsible for fundraising and advocacy and has been sent by friends of Mpilo to gain insight into her responsibilities.
“As a goodwill ambassador, I am supposed to sensitise people, but today I am going to meet up with Yvonne, who has gone through that road with Unicef, to get pointers and mentorship, which will enable me to attract more support for our hospital,” Ndebele told journalists before her departure at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport.
“Our mission is not only to note the challenges, which the hospital is facing, but also celebrate achievements that have been realised by companies that have come on board to adopt wards for example, Holiday Inn and Mimosa.”
Ndebele explained her goal to restore Mpilo, her place of birth, to its former glory, as an esteemed referral hospital in Matabeleland.
Mpilo chief executive officer Lawrence Mantiziba said Ndebele has two major duties, advocacy and resource mobilisation, as a goodwill ambassador and had teamed up well with the resource mobilisation team at the hospital.
“We are pioneers not only in making noise about challenges at Mpilo, but for all other hospitals which are now speaking out loud in that respect,” he said.
“In the same vein, we are pioneers in sending our ambassador outside the country for mentorship by an internationally-acclaimed emissary.”
Mpilo Hospital is plagued by several challenges, including staff shortages, obsolete machinery and dilapidated infrastructure.
A Grade 7 pupil recently died after his mother, who was carrying him up a flight of stairs for an X-Ray scan, slipped and dropped on his head.
“We need people who will come forward and assist to improve infrastructure.
“It’s not that we did not want to help carry the child, but there are problems with manpower and most elevators are down which leaves patients in a precarious position negotiating steps,” Ndebele said.
“I am fighting to address such issues.”
Duduza Moyo, director of operations at Mpilo concurred saying the institution was inundated with work, particularly since it is the only centre in the southern part of the country offering paediatric services after United Bulawayo Hospitals stopped.
Ndebele will return to the country on Saturday and indicated that she would have many projects lined up to promote Mpilo upon her return.