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US$40 000 damage at Manama Hospital

by Staff reporter
15 Oct 2021 at 05:17hrs | Views
HEAVY rains that pounded Gwanda District recently left Manama Mission Hospital without electricity and damaged solar panels, water tanks and telecommunication cables resulting in the suspension of critical services.

The heavy rains which were accompanied by strong winds inflicted considerable damage on the hospital on October 3 at around 4PM.

The roofs of the maternity ward, family and child health ward, female ward and Antenatal Clinic were blown off.
The damage that has led to the suspension of services such as the expanded programme of immunisation (EPI), maternity delivery services, postnatal care services, isolation of Covid-19 positive mothers, antenatal care services and integrated management of neonatal and childhood illnesses (IMNCI) has been attributed to dilapidated infrastructure.

Four departments at the hospital were affected which has forced hospital staff to rely on four remaining wards for patients.

The infrastructure damage at the hospital is estimated at US$40 000.

People now have to travel to Sengezana Clinic which is about 43 kilometres away from the hospital to access vaccination and immunisation services.

Solar panels which power the vaccines fridge were also damaged and the hospital had to move vaccines and other medication that requires refrigeration to Sengezana Clinic.

When the incident occurred, the hospital had seven patients in the maternity ward with one being monitored in the labour ward. The patient in the labour ward had to be rushed to the dental department where she delivered an hour later. The maternity ward also has a special baby care unit, recovery, sluice room, staff ward, antenatal ward and labour ward.

When a Chronicle news crew visited the hospital yesterday, it went through the wards which the hospital was now using as an alternative.

The children's ward has been turned into a labour ward. The family and child health department has been relocated to the TB wing in the male ward.

The hospital also has to refer babies that are born prematurely to Gwanda Provincial Hospital because of power challenges.

Due to limited space, the hospital has left some equipment such as drips, incubators and beds in the damaged structures.

Manama Mission Hospital was built in 1939 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ) using farm bricks and its roofing is a combination of corrugated iron and asbestos. It is situated 85km south of Gwanda Town.

The catchment population of Manama Hospital, based on the 1992 census, is 82 500. The hospital mainly services the population of Gwanda South and Beitbridge West.

The hospital also acts a referral point for other parts of Beitbridge District, Maphisa and Kezi.

The news crew talked to villagers who said the damage had greatly inconvenienced them.

Ms Lina Sibanda (72) from Gungwe area said the hospital played a crucial role in preserving lives.

"I stay about three hours from the hospital and this is the only place that I come to, to access health services. With this damage that we see here it means that our source of life has been affected. We appeal to whoever can assist to come in to assist.

Now we have to travel further to Sezengane Clinic for other services such as vaccination and immunisation. This is a big hospital and surely we need to access all health care services here," she said.

Ms Sibanda there was also need for power to be restored to the hospital as a matter of urgency. She said their hospital has long been neglected and there was need for it to be rehabilitated as the infrastructure was old.

Ms Nonuya Mlauzi (27) from Nhwali area, who was admitted to the postnatal unit, said they rely on the hospital for maternal services. She said she delivered her first born child at the hospital and has now delivered her second born. Ms Mlauzi said now that the hospital has limited space, women do not know where to turn to.

"I fear that one day I will come to the hospital and be told that there is no space. This is the only hospital that has been helping us all these years and if it can no longer accommodate us then where will we turn to," she said.

Gwanda District medical officer, Dr Blessed Gwarimbo said urgent intervention was needed as the damage has greatly affected service delivery. He said there was also need to rehabilitate the hospital's infrastructure which was now dilapidated.

"The damage has affected service delivery mainly at the maternity ward and family and child care services. This has affected deliveries, postnatal care, antenatal care, immunisation, Covid-19 vaccination, family planning and admission of females. Vaccine fridges were affected and vaccines had to be moved to Sengezane Clinic

Source - The Chronicle