Thupeyo Muleya in Manama, Gwanda South
The Department of Civil Protection (DCP) has deployed seven inmates from Gwanda prison to beef up staff that is set to repair damaged rooftops in the maternity and female wards at Manama Mission Hospital in Gwanda South.
Sections of the hospital’s critical buildings were extensively damaged by a storm on October 3.
The beef up is part of a host of measures, government is rolling out in repairing and modernizing one of the major referral centres in Matabeleland South.
The hospital serves communities from Gwanda Souths’ eight clinics from three Chiefs and the larger part of Beitbridge West and those living along the Zimbabwe and Botswana border at Mlambapele.
Manama Mission is facing a cocktail of challenges and already the government has committed $28 million to be spent on initial repairs and the upgrading of the health institution into a modern healthcare centre.
The hospital was built by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ) in 1939 as part of its key facilities at its full mission.
ELCZ pastor-in-charge of Manama Mission, Reverend Alson Nkala said so far, they have received $5 million from the government through the Department of Public Works, which is being used to procure the necessary material to fix the damaged buildings.
He said they have shifted men from the male to the children’s ward to pave way for the women who were moved to the maternity and female wards.
“Expecting mothers have been moved to the dental buildings while others have been taken to the male ward. We expect to complete rehabilitating the damaged buildings in the next two weeks.
We can then start with the upgrading of the whole institution,” said Rev Nkala.
He said when disaster struck the maternity ward had five mothers who had just delivered and one who was in labour but they were protected from harm by the building’s ceiling.
Reverend Nkala said the 82-year-old hospital is operating without doctors and needs three medical doctors to operate at full strength.
He said they need to urgently resuscitate the mortuary and at least two more ambulances considering the current workload at the health institution.
Currently, the community relies on a private mortuary at Manama Business Centre.
According to a recent update report by the church, most admissions at the hospital are linked to injuries, assaults, road traffic accidents, pneumonia, scorpion stings, maternity deliveries, abortions, complicated malaria, hypertension, congestive cardiac failure, eye conditions –cataracts and opportunistic infections.