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Matabeleland North remains without provincial hospital

by Staff reporter
18 Nov 2019 at 06:31hrs | Views
MATABELELAND North Provincial Medical Director Dr Purgie Chimberengwa has appealed to Government to urgently complete construction of Lupane Provincial Hospital as the province faces a critical shortage of health infrastructure.

Matabeleland North is the only province in the country which has not had a provincial hospital since Independence.  

St Luke's Mission Hospital, a Roman Catholic facility situated in Kenmaur, Kusile District, is being used as the provincial referral hospital.

Some cases are referred to Mpilo Central Hospital or the United Bulawayo Hospitals thereby burdening patients with extra transport costs.

Dr Chimberengwa made the plea at a recent stakeholders meeting to give feedback on the impact of the school based mass drug administration (MDA) (2012-2017) for schostosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis (STH) in Zimbabwe which was held in Victoria Falls. He said Hwange and Umguza districts have no district hospitals, compounding the matter.

"Matabeleland North Province has issues to do with health facilities as there is no provincial hospital. There is a serious need for a provincial hospital as well as two district hospitals for Hwange and Umguza," said Dr Chimberengwa.

Speaking at the same occasion, Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Portia Manangazira said St Luke's Hospital near Lupane was being burdened.  

"Let's quickly embrace the private sector so that Zimbabwe gets quality health. We can't leave St Luke's to act as a provincial hospital because this is overstretching the institution," said Dr Manangazira.

She said the country has a total of 1 800 health facilities and public health centres but more are needed.

Dr Manangazira said shortage of health facilities had seen the country relying on using schools as centres for national vaccination campaigns. Government recently said the first phase for the construction of Lupane Provincial Hospital is expected to be completed next year.

Once complete, Lupane Provincial Hospital is expected to serve as a referral health centre for all the seven district hospitals in Matabeleland North Province.

St Luke's Hospital was gutted by fire four months ago and efforts are being made to resuscitate it.

The First Lady, Auxilia Mnangagwa, through her Angel of Hope Foundation in partnership with Matter Foundation of the United States of America and Love for Africa from Victoria Falls mobilised US$250 000 worth of equipment some of which has been handed over to the hospital.

Source - chronicle