Automobile company, Zambezi Corporation Group has now set its sights on designing and building a fleet of specialised vehicles from scratch. Group Director, Dr Ishmael Nshakashogwe says this will not only contribute to the country’s development but also to sustainability and skills transfer.
“We started this business looking at supplying and servicing motor vehicles. But we are looking at sustainability and continuity. “We are looking at doing things ourselves, we cannot continue to depend across borders or overseas, denying our country permanent investment,” he said.
Dr. Nshakashogwe said on Tuesday while showcasing their first project – a fully equipped mobile clinic – that they started doing refurbishment of ambulances locally and have now decided to actually do the whole manufacturing in-house. The unit which took a little over two months to build comes with built-in generators, air conditioning, heat, water supply, work counters, cabinets, and a full array of medical equipment. The unit already has a buyer in Tanzania and there are a number of orders from other African countries and the Middle East according to Dr Nshakashogwe.
“This really boosts our confidence that we are on the right direction. We have the capability as Batswana,” he said. Zambezi Corporation General Manager, Uma Shankar Vadcamani said the idea for the mobile clinics was borne out of a realisation that it was difficult for governments to set up permanent clinics throughout Africa. “The clinics are conceived as serving patients who can’t reach a hospital or medical facility. Anything that you would see in a doctor’s office or hospital, we place it in a truck, trailer, bus, and container so that we can bring healthcare services to people who have none. Our focus is on bringing healthcare to underserved populations around the world,” he stated.
Powered with solar panels, combined with batteries, Vadcamani said the vehicle is convenient to service in foreign countries and rural areas; it easily spends a week in a remote area before needing to go back to base to restock. Amongst its capabilities in specialised vehicles, the makers of the traffic police control unit (Booze Bus) also manufacture roadshow, mobile school and mobile units; occupational health clinic with x-ray unit, as well as ambulance conversions and rescue safety equipment.
“We will also start the production of medical disaster buses which can house 20 seated patients, 10-15 stretcher patients, clinical apartment at the rear as well as being fitted with hydraulic stretcher and wheelchair lift,” Vadcamani told attendants at the showroom.