Chikombedzi Hospital; no mortuary for 10 years

Chikombedzi Hospital Superintendent Kevin Mawana.

Tawanda HombaChikombedzi Mission- Chikombedzi Mission, the biggest referral hospital in Chiredzi South has been operating without a mortuary for the last 10 years in spite of the fact that it is located in region 5 where temperatures are high and decomposition of bodies is a matter of hours.The Free Methodist-run hospital has no ambulance, has no running water, no backup power during load shedding and patients walk 60km to the hospital.Although the hospital has the biggest isolation centre in the province (30 beds), the unit is just a shell with just beds and no protective clothing or equipment. The nurses are not trained to deal with Covid19 patients.This was said during the tour of the hospital by the Minister of State for Masvingo, Ezra Chadzamira who was accompanied by members of the Provincial Covid19 Taskforce. The tour took place on Tuesday.Dr Kevin Mawana, the Medical Superintendent at Chikombedzi said the situation is so bad that Police is engaged immediately after each death to push families to collect bodies on the same day.He also said once a patient passes on in a ward, the body is wrapped and put away in a corner where other patients don’t see it because there is no mortuary.“Our mortuary last worked 10 years ago and the hospital has been operating without one. After death we notify relatives to immediately come and collect the deceased relatives. Bodies are wrapped and kept at a secluded place in the ward and if there is any delay by relatives, we notify the police for assistance” said Dr Mawana.Mawana also added that the hospital does not have an ambulance since the two which they used to have developed mechanical faults. He also said that the hospital does not have running water as well as backup power during load shedding.Villagers in Chikombedzi community has to walk for 60 km to come to the hospital despite the seriousness of their illness.Chikombedzi Hospital which is a referral for 17 clinics was established in the 1940s by missionaries. It was however left in the hands of the Free Methodist Church and Government is not rendering the institution any meaningful support.

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