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Beitbridge Hospital shuts down mortuary

by Staff reporter
13 Nov 2019 at 06:35hrs | Views
INCESSANT power cuts have forced Beitbridge District Hospital to shut down its mortuary leaving members of the public at the mercy of private players who are offering the services at exorbitant prices.  

Residents in the border town will also be forced to do quick burials of their loved ones given the rising temperatures.

In a notice on Monday, the hospital said it was suspending mortuary operations with immediate effect.

"Notice is hereby given that Beitbridge District Hospital has temporarily suspended mortuary operations with immediate effect. This decision has been brought about as a result of the lengthy power cuts and high temperatures being experienced hence rendering the mortuary equipment non-functional," read the notice.  

Matabeleland South provincial medical director Dr Rudo Chikodzore said the Beitbridge situation was beyond their control as Zesa was also the sole reason why some hospitals had no access to running water.  

"The situation is beyond our control. We have failed to offer X-rays and conduct surgeries because of power cuts and costs associated with using generators. The mortuary refrigerators are no longer working so we cannot contain the bodies in the mortuary," said Dr Chikodzore.  

She said they were also conducting awareness campaigns to ensure communities bury their dead quickly as there are no mortuary services at the moment.

"We are engaging the community leadership to sensitise residents so that at least burials are quickened because of the issues of temperatures and the possible costs of using private mortuaries. We also have unclaimed bodies which need paupers' burials and local authorities are helping to fast track the process of burying them," said Dr Chikodzore.

She said the medium-long term situation would be to invest in solar power especially for health institutions.  

"In the long term we would like to push for solar as the main source of energy for our institutions. Quite a number of our rural institutions have solar systems in place but they may need to upgraded. However, our hospitals are behind as far as solar power is concerned," Dr Chikodzore said.  

Zesa Holdings on Monday said it was implementing a prolonged load shedding schedule following a technical fault at Hwange Power Station. The power utility said it was moving to Stage 2 load shedding that has previously seen customers going for up to 18 hours per day without electricity.  Before the latest technical fault at Hwange Power Station, power generated locally and imports from South Africa and Mozambique saw customers enjoying longer hours with power.

Source - chronicle